Wage and hour laws establish standards regarding the time an employee spends working and the compensation they receive for that time. Issues such as minimum wage, what is considered time worked, overtime, tips, rest and meal breaks, employer responsibility of wages paid, etc. are typically covered by these laws. In order to be compliant with current regulations, employers must have a firm grasp on wage and hour laws.
Minimum Wage in Ohio
The minimum wage in Ohio is $8.10 per hour, as compared to the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25. Employers in the state whose annual gross receipts total less than $297,000 can pay employees the lower federally mandated minimum wage. However, the annual gross receipts amount required to pay the lower wage grows larger each year based on fluctuations in the consumer price index.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: Tipped employees working in Ohio can be paid 50 percent less than the state’s standard minimum wage. Based on the current minimum wage, tipped employees can be paid $4.05 per hour. Employers must prove that a tipped worker’s total wages (with gratuities combined) are equal to the standard minimum wage. Federally mandated tipped wages utilize the same formula: the lower tipped minimum wage must equal to $7.25 when combined with tips.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) stipulates that employers with at least two employees that earn $500,000 or more annually or are involved in interstate commerce are beholden to wage and hour laws. In Ohio, some employees are exempt provided they meet established criteria. This includes workers employed by the United States, executives, administrative professionals, employees of family businesses who are related to the owner, etc. The Ohio Department of Commerce provides a complete list of exceptions.
When are Raises Required: No regulations exist in Ohio pertaining to workers’ raises. In general, employers devise agreements with workers regarding raises, and these include specific criteria for meriting an increase in pay.
Work Hours in Ohio
There are no limits established by the state of Ohio on the number of hours in a day or week one can work. Federal law is also without limits regarding the amount of time worked in a given period, meaning that individuals 16 and older can determine the amount of hours worked suitable to them.
Paying Overtime: Employers in Ohio must pay employees one and one-half times the established wage rate for any hours over 40 worked in a week, which is the same overtime rate stipulated by the FLSA. In cases where federal and state overtime rates differ, an employer would be required to pay the higher rate to employees. Ohio employers whose gross earnings are less than $150,000 per year are exempt from overtime stipulations.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: Ohio employers are not required to provide workers breaks related to meals or rest. Nursing mothers are an exception in this case, as the FLSA requires that nursing mothers must be afforded break time to express milk. Additionally, the FLSA mandates that any work performed during employer-afforded breaks must be compensated. Short breaks, ranging from five to 20 minutes, must also be compensated.
Paid Time-off and Sick Pay: Neither the FLSA nor the state of Ohio mandate that paid-time off and sick pay must be offered to workers. In many cases individual employers will devise agreements with their employees regarding these matters.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: As an employment-at-will state, Ohio employers are not required to give advance notice to employees upon termination. In addition, no federal laws exist regarding time periods for termination notices.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: Because Ohio is without specific regulations pertaining to plant closings and layoffs, employer must follow the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). This entails a 60 days’ prior notification of closings and mass layoffs. WARN regulations apply to employers with 100 or more workers who work at least 20 hours a week.
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