Employers often use creative ways to avoid their overtime and minimum wage obligations. For example, one employer would put minimum wage workers on extended “breaks” for several hours, but tell them to stay in the parking lot in case the store got busy. The employer did not pay wages for these so called “breaks,” but the employees were not free to go home or anywhere for that matter. The affected employees were unaware that this practice violated federal law by denying them minimum wage for all hours worked. Another employer had workers clock out when their shift ended, but on many days the clocked out employee was asked to wait to leave until the manager was done with paperwork, often for more than an hour. Again the time was uncompensated, and this violated federal and state law.
If you are a non-exempt hourly employee, be sure you receive all the pay you have earned. Keep track of your hours worked and compare them to your pay stub. If you do not regularly receive a pay stub from your employer, you should know that in Ohio you are entitled a statement of hours worked and amounts paid. Your employer is obligated to keep such records for at least three years and provide you or your representative with a statement free of charge on request. An employer who does not maintain such records, or who refuses to provide them on request, can be sued under Article II section 34a of the Ohio Constitution, which was adopted by public referendum in 2006.