Many employers, in Ohio and around the country, have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Sometimes it is intentionally violated, in other instances an employer does so without realizing it. Either way, it is against the law. Employees have rights. If your rights were violated, connect with a Columbus employment attorney.
The FLSA Has Changed Over Time
Designed to protect workers, the FLSA has been amended over time but was first enacted in 1938. The law covers a range of worker protections, from wage issues to child labor.
The FLSA contains a minimum wage, at the federal level, for the majority of hourly employees. States can have a higher minimum wage, but not a lower one. There are exceptions, such as tipped employees. The FLSA also requires employers to compensate employees for overtime work. The following guidelines are in place.
- Work over 40 hours within one workweek should be paid 1.5 times the hourly wage.
- Workweek is a seven day period set by the employer.
- Exempt employees are salaried and earn more than a minimum income threshold.
In addition, the FLSA has strict rules regarding child labor. This is to be sure minor children are protected from exploitation. In most work situations, kids under 16 years old can’t legally work during school times, for example. There are some exceptions for certain occupations such as agricultural positions.
Part of making sure employees are being treated properly is keeping accurate records of hours worked, when employees were paid, and documentation of deductions. It is a requirement with the FLSA that employers keep detailed records. There are other provisions as well, including protections for specific types of workers, including nursing mothers.
Investigations Can Follow Complaints
Of course, in order for FLSA protections to help workers, the rules must be enforced. When there is a complaint, enforcement may happen through the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Sometimes the complaints come directly from workers, in other circumstances a third party will report a business who they see as violating the rights of their employees.
Another type of investigation is through elective actions. These happen when the WHD moves forward with an investigation even though there has not been a complaint. This could happen in industries that have a history or FLSA violations, typically workplaces with lower wages, restaurants and retail locations for example.
When an organization is investigated, a representative of WHD will connect with the manager or owner of the business. This is an essential step because the employer has a right to representation as the investigation occurs. An investigator will then explain what they need to assess. Employer records, for instance. If there was a specific complaint, that is not shared. The procedure is simply outlined.
Do you have a complaint connected to a FLSA violation at your Ohio workplace? Contact the lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC today. We are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers and use our experience and knowledge to help you. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.