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What Can You Do If Your Employer Doesn't Pay You Overtime?

You deserve to be paid full value for all your hard work

a businesswoman on a laptop works late into the nightFor many people, the standard 40-hour workweek stretches on to be 45, 50, or even longer. The law says that work in excess of 40 hours should be paid at an overtime rate, and employers have a responsibility to do right by their employees when they go above and beyond.

However, that's not always the case in practice. If your employer is violating the laws against unpaid overtime, you have rights — and you have recourse. An experienced unpaid overtime attorney can help.

Under Ohio and federal law, most employees get overtime

The vast majority of workers are owed overtime pay (that is, 1.5 times the regular hourly pay rate) for any hours worked beyond 40 in a seven-day workweek. Only workers who meet specific legal requirements are treated as exempt from overtime, including:

  • Managers who have hiring, firing, and decision-making authority.
  • Learned professionals who do "knowledge work" like doctors, lawyers, and engineers.
  • Administrative professionals who do executive-level knowledge work, such as finance and IT.
  • Outside salespeople who go out and meet with customers at their homes or businesses.
  • People in certain professions that are specifically exempted by law.

Exemptions from overtime are based on job duties, not a job title. Your employer can't just call you an "assistant manager" to get out of paying overtime; if that worked, they would call everyone a manager. You have to be a bona fide manager with hiring, firing, and evaluation power, or comparable decision-making authority, to be exempt from overtime. It also doesn't matter if you are "hourly" or "salaried;" what matters is whether your job meets the legal criteria for you to be an exempt employee.

Misclassification as exempt is just one way employees end up losing overtime pay that they're entitled to receive. Some employers' practices of making employees clock out for short rest breaks, not paying for travel time, or otherwise not paying for all hours worked can result in loss of overtime pay. Moreover, if your employer pays you a bonus or commission, they are generally required to account for that additional compensation when calculating your overtime rate.

What you can do if you're not being paid overtime in Ohio

If your employer isn't paying you overtime as required by Ohio law, you can file a complaint with the Bureau of Wage & Hour Administration, which is part of the Ohio Department of Commerce. This state agency enforces Ohio's minimum wage and prevailing wage laws. You can also file a complaint with the United States Department of Labor, which enforces the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

You also need to speak with an attorney. Your employer's failure to pay you overtime might be a deliberate scheme to pay you less than you deserve for your labor, or it may be a result of honest ignorance of the law. Either way, though, a lawyer can advise you of your legal options and help you find the right legal strategy to move your case forward.

Don't let your employer steal money out of your pocket. If you're dealing with unpaid overtime or another wage and hour violation, contact Gibson Law, LLC for a free, confidential consultation. We proudly serve all of Ohio and have offices in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Tipp City.

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