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Steps to Take When There Is a Wage and Hour Violation


If you feel you have a right to unpaid wages from your Ohio workplace, you may be wondering how you can recover the unpaid wages you have earned. There are different forms of wage and hour violations, including but not limited to when: (i) employers do not pay employees overtime wages they have earned, (2) employers pay an amount that is less than minimum wage, or (3) circumstances when an employer fails to administer an employee’s final paycheck. When you talk to a Columbus wage and hour attorney, they can help you strategize the best path to securing your unpaid wages or overtime.

Tracking Hours Worked

One of the first steps to take, ideally before a dispute occurs, is an employee may independently keep their own record of the hours they have worked even though it is an employer’s duty to keep such records. The tracking could be done on a calendar or in list format. Then, with this documentation, you have a record of the work hours you should have been paid for.

Of course, it is best to have an accurate record, but any documentation is helpful. After all, it is the responsibility of the employer to keep records of employee’s work hours. When that is not the case, an idea of what is due can be reconstructed from an employee’s records, even if they are not completely detailed. Thus, it is helpful to have a record of such hours if possible. Otherwise, the law provides that you can prove your hours with reasonable estimates.

Calculating Wages Due

After you know what hours you deserve to be compensated for, perform the calculation needed to come up with an amount the employer owes the employee. So, for example, you can multiply the hours worked by your hourly rate. Then, if there were hours worked beyond 40 hours in one week, you can add those at a rate of 1.5 times your standard hourly wage. Naturally, there are times when unpaid wages will be disputed or the time worked is too far back to be compensated.

Taking Your Complaint to Your Employer

Once you know what the unpaid wage amount is, you may want to speak with an unpaid wages attorney, but you may also ask your employer for compensation. It is important to make this complaint in writing so you have documentation, a casual conversation does not produce evidence should a claim move forward.

If you are unsure how to request your wages, talk to a legal professional. A Columbus wage and hour attorney knows how to navigate employment law on your behalf. Lawyers will likely want to see your documentation, such as your wage calculations and the workplace employee handbook.

Hopefully, your employer will see your unpaid wages as a problem and will pay you the proper amount without delay. But, if your employer does not compensate you properly, you could decide to sue your employer for unpaid wages. By suing your employer, you can also request that you recover additional damages, such as liquidated damages, attorney’s fees, and costs. When the behavior has occurred with multiple employees, a collective action may be the right solution. Collective actions are helpful when the amount pursued by one employee may not be terribly significant, but the amounts owed to all employees is much greater. This is because if an employer is not paying one employee in full, they are likely also underpaying other employees.

Did your employer fail to pay you properly or fully? Contact the lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC today. We are strong and committed wage and hour advocates for all Ohio workers and use our experience and knowledge to help you. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced unpaid wages or unpaid overtime lawyer.


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