Workers in the U.S. are protected by both state wage laws and federal wage laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). These laws protect many facets of employment, with the most important being compensation. Both state and federal law require that employees be compensated for the work they perform at standards set by the federal and state governments. However, sometimes employers try to withhold money from paychecks, fail to administer paychecks, and don’t issue paychecks on time. In these cases, workers may wonder if there are legal consequences of not paying employees on time.
Withholding or refusing to give paychecks is most likely against both state and federal law, regardless of where you live. Employers who refuse to pay their employees or fail to pay their workers on time can be subject to legal consequences.
In Ohio, you must be paid at least bi-monthly for work you did in the previous pay period. If you do not receive compensation in that time period, your payment is considered late and the employer could be subject to legal action. You can choose to file a lawsuit against the entity or, if you feel others are in the same situation, you could file a class action case. Some states have different rules on when pay is due, but ultimately both state and federal law require that employees are paid at least the minimum wage for all hours they have worked in a timely manner.
Ways Employers Fail to Pay Workers
Some employers will look for ways to save money, which often comes at the expense of their workers. Sometimes these businesses will take money directly from paychecks without the employee knowing – this, like many other employer actions to cut costs, is an act known as wage theft. There are legal consequences for not paying employees on time, as well as for taking money out of pay that should not be taken or without authorization. Types of wage theft include:
Withholding money without the employee knowing – The employee must be made aware of all money being withheld for any reason, including donations, contributions, etc.
Withholding a final paycheck – Even if an employee is terminated or quits, they are still entitled to the wages they earned while working. Employers must issue a final paycheck to these workers.
Withholding a paycheck for a certain period – Pay in Ohio must be issued at least bi-monthly and all money paid must correspond with hours worked in the previous period. Employers cannot keep an employee’s paycheck for longer than this period.
When employers fail to pay employees, they could find themselves in court facing a lawsuit. If lost, businesses must pay all wages they’ve failed to distribute to employees as well as possible damages, fees, and legal costs. Wage and hour lawsuits can be costly for businesses. In some cases, settlements can result in millions of dollars in recovered wages depending on the company and how many people were affected.
If your employer doesn’t pay you, you can seek legal help to investigate the business or guide you through filing a lawsuit. A wage and hour attorney has the experience needed to take legal action against employers. Any investigation will examine payment history and other financials of the business to determine if the entity was improperly withholding wages and paychecks. If you haven’t received pay for work completed and the pay period has passed, contact one of our attorneys for help. If you believe you were affected by any of these practices, call the Paycheck Warriors at Barkan Meizlish, LLP today at 800-274-5297 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© WTMM 2020
Columbus Web Design - Split Reef