Some employers throughout Ohio cheat workers by not paying fair or legal wages, making it difficult for working people to make ends meet. This is called wage theft and includes:
- Not paying overtime
- Refusing to give employees their last paychecks after resigning from their jobs
- Not paying for all hours worked
- Paying below the minimum wage
- Withholding a worker's pay entirely
Hourly-based employment wage theft violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under this act, employers must pay:
- The federal or state minimum wage
- Time and a half for all time that exceeds 40 hours per week
How wage theft hurts Ohio workers
Roughly 217,000 Ohio workers lose $600 million each year due to minimum-wage violations, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In Columbus alone, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported approximately 13,846 cases of wage theft by 620 employers from 2007 to 2016.
Between 2004 and 2018, approximately 371 Cleveland employers were investigated by the DOL for FLSA violations — 270 were found to have at least one violation. This amounted to a total of 6,417 counts of wage violations. Of those, these industries had the most confirmed DOL wage theft violations:
- Child daycare services — 32 violations
- Full-service restaurants — 22 violations
- Limited service or fast food restaurants — 19 violations
- In-home health care services — 11 violations
- Employment services or temp agencies — 9 violations
The Cleveland companies with the most DOL wage and hour violations between 2004 and 2018 included:
- Parking Solutions, Inc. (parking lots and garages) — 937 violations
- Nestle USA (misc. food) — 218 violations
- Royce Securities Services (security) — 175 violations
- Page Food Services (catering) — 163 violations
- Marc's & Xpect Discounts (pharmacy and drugs) — 140 violations
- City of Cleveland (local police protection) — 119 violations
- Barrios Tacos (full-service restaurant) — 108 violations
How can I take action if I'm not paid fairly?
Wage theft affects Ohio workers across all industries and levels of experience. A lack of statewide enforcement may be the problem. Currently, there are only six wage-and-hour investigators in the state of Ohio that oversee the labor practices for more than 5.5 million employees. Since 2010, there has been a 24 percent reduction in funding for the Wage and Hour Bureau. We will likely continue to see more cases of workers being robbed of their hard-earned money as a result.
If you have experienced wage theft from your employer, you have the right to take legal action. The wage law attorneys at Nilges Draher LLC have a wealth of legal knowledge and experience representing people who have experienced wage theft.
We serve clients in Cleveland, Columbus, and Massillon, Ohio. To find out which legal options are available to you, contact us and schedule your free consultation with our legal team.