Best Ohio Wage And Hour Lawyer Reply: How do I sue my employer for wage theft if my paycheck is short all the time? Is my job exempt from minimum wage? What are the minimum wage laws?
As our minimum wage attorneys have previously blogged about, employers are required to pay minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA“). (See How Do I Find The Right Attorney For My Overtime Claim?; What Can I Do About Wage Theft Violations?; and Can I Have More Than One Employer For Wage & Hour Claims?). The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular hourly rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. The FLSA also protects those employees who complain to their manager and supervisors about actual or perceived wage and hour violations. This means that an employee is protected against retaliation , including from wrongful termination, for reporting suspected, good faith violations of the FLSA including the failure to pay overtime compensation or minimum wage violations, even if the employee ends up being wrong.
Minimum wage laws apply to employees of enterprises that have annual gross volume of sales or business done of at least $500,000. It also applies to employees of smaller firms if the employees are engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, such as employees who work in transportation or communications or who regularly use the mails or telephones for interstate communications. Other persons, such as guards, janitors, and maintenance employees who perform duties which are closely related and directly essential to such interstate activities are also covered by the FLSA. It also applies to employees of federal, state or local government agencies, hospitals and schools, and it generally applies to domestic workers.
Recently, in Martinez v. Manolos Tamales, Inc., the United States District Court For The Northern District Of Illinois Eastern Division, examined whether the minimum wage laws applied to Martinez’s employer, a Tamale Restaurant. The employer argued that the Martinez was not entitled to minimum wage under the FLSA under either individually or under the enterprise theory. An employee is owed minimum wage using the individual coverage test if the employee’s work “is so directly and vitally related to the functioning of an instrumentality or facility of interstate commerce as to be, in practical effect, a part of it, rather than isolated, local activity.” Under the enterprise test, an employee is owed minimum wage if the employer is an “enterprise.”
An employer is an “enterprise” covered by the FLSA if it “has employees engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or [ ] has employees handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for commerce by any person” and “is an enterprise whose annual gross volume of sales made or business done is not less than $500,000.” 29 U.S.C. § 203(s)(1)(A)(i), (ii).
The court reviewed the facts and found that Martinez was not owed minimum wage under the individual test because her allegation “that she cooked and cleaned at defendants’ restaurants in Chicago are insufficient to raise a plausible inference that her work was “directly and vitally related” to interstate commerce; she does not allege that she produced goods that then moved in interstate commerce, nor does she allege any work from which the Court can infer that she herself was engaged in interstate commerce.” However, the court did find that Martinez could fall under the enterprise FLSA coverage “because it is a plausible inference that in the course of cooking and cleaning at tamale restaurants in Chicago, plaintiff handled goods that had moved in interstate commerce.” In addition, Martinez has alleged that the defendant restaurants had annual gross sales of $500,000 or more which they did not deny.
If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of your wages, paying you less than minimum wage, unlawfully deducting money from your paycheck, not paying you time and a half for overtime, or is otherwise cheating you out of wages requires contact the minimum wage violation lawyers and overtime claim attorneys at The Spitz Law Firm today for a free and confidential initial consultation. You may have a claim under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or Ohio Fair Labor Standards Act. The wage and hour lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm will provide you with the best options for your wage and hour pay dispute situation. If you even think that you may be entitled to overtime pay that you are not being paid, call (216) 291-4744.
The materials available at the top of this overtime, wage and hour web page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “Am I entitled to overtime?”, “Does my job have to pay me for …”, “My paycheck is not right…” or “What do I do if…”, the your best option is to contact an Ohio overtime attorney to obtain advice with respect to FLSA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.