Best Ohio Minimum Wage Attorney Answer: Is Ohio’s minimum wage going up in 2019? How often does Ohio’s minimum wage increase? Who are most likely to experience minimum wage violations and wage theft? What does Best Ohio Minimum Wage Attorney think about this year’s raise?
Happy New Year! Ohio’s minimum wage increased on January 1, 2019 from $8.30 per hour to $8.55 per hour for non-tipped employees. Tipped-wage employees got a raise too! Minimum wage went from $4.15 per hour to $4.30 per hour. Tipped employees must get at least $4.30 per hour plus tips.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) almost everyone must follow the minimum wage requirement. The minimum wage requirement applies to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $314,000 per year. Every new year brings new challenges, but one thing is for sure, this year minimum wage increased in Ohio to reflect inflation—this is all thanks to the Ohio Constitution. Unlike many states, Ohio’s minimum wage is constitutionally guaranteed to reflect the changes in inflation for that year. Ohio employees who earn the minimum wage can expect another automatic raise in 2020. Although it is my opinion that a 25-cent raise is not nearly enough to reflect the actual cost of living inflation and things like that-but that’s a completely different conversation. Section 34a of the Ohio Constitution states:
The state minimum wage rate shall be increased effective the first day of the following January by the rate of inflation for the twelve month period prior to that September according to the consumer price index or its successor index for all urban wage earners and clerical workers for all items as calculated by the federal government rounded to the nearest five cents.
The “index” referenced here is sort of a complex formula that was clearly created so that the raises each year would be minimal. In my opinion, the minimum wage raises are a joke. The raises are not enough to support an individual working 40 hours a week, let alone a family. So, unless there is a constitutional amendment we are stuck with this system for the foreseeable future. However, even though our wage attorneys may disagree with the amount of the raise, it is still a raise that every minimum wage worker is entitled to. Every penny matters, and your boss should recognize your value as an employee and give you the raise you’re entitled to. Also, not to mention, it’s illegal to do otherwise. Following minimum wage requirements is not optional. Bosses can’t pick and choose when to follow minimum wage standards and when to ignore them. Employers in Ohio must raise the amount in your paycheck every year if there’s an increase for inflation.
Sounds simple, right? Just follow the law, raise minimum wages every year when the state tells you to, keep your employees happy and go about your business. YES– it is that simple. Many employers follow the law and never have a problem with wage theft. But, there are a few employers who think they are above the law, or don’t value their employees, or think that they’ll never get caught. As one of Ohio’s minimum wage lawyers, we see this in our office all the time.
Employers not following minimum wage requirements is more common than you may think. Ohio ranked second for wage theft in which employers violated minimum wage laws, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. The report analyzed wage theft in the 10 largest states. The main take away from the report is that as much as we would like to think we’ve improved in Ohio, wage theft and minimum wage violations still happen all the time. As our wage and hour attorneys have blogged about regularly, employers’ violations of minimum wage law are a big problem around Ohio. (See Top Wage Lawyer: Is Everyone Entitled To Earn Minimum Wage?; How Much Is Ohio’s Minimum Wage In 2016?; Can Amusement Park Workers Be Paid Less Than Minimum Wage?; Can My Job Call Me A Volunteer And Not Pay Me?; and Should Outside Sales People Be Paid Minimum Wage?). We see this issue time and time again, but that never makes it less shocking. For those earning minimum wage, every cent earned in your paycheck is critical to keeping your family housed, clothed, and fed. Life is expensive, and you deserve every penny that you earn.
You might be wondering, “Who is most likely to suffer from wage theft and minimum wage violations?” Well, in my experience wage theft and minimum wage violations can happen anywhere to anyone. And if you think you are a victim of wage theft or your boss isn’t following minimum wage requirements, you should reach out to a wage and hour lawyer immediately.
That being said, numerous studies, like this one, and this one, indicate that young workers, women, people of color, and immigrant workers are more likely than other workers to report being paid less than the minimum wage. Whenever bosses don’t pay their workers how they should, it not only hurts the employees, but it hurts their communities. The main take away here is that bosses try to short their employees because they think they can get away with it. They are more likely to short their employees when hire employ minorities. Personally, I think this is because the bosses think their employees won’t stand up for their rights. SO LAME. Bosses who think they can get away with wage theft are the worst kind of people-they prey on innocent employees who are trying to earn a living. Also, many times, this isn’t the bosses’ first offense. If they keep getting away with wage theft and minimum wage violations, they will keep doing it because they think that can get away with it.
The bottom line is this: when a boss cheats their employees out of their hard-earned money, they not only hurt their employees, but they hurt their communities. Most of all they expose themselves for the type of law-breaking, unsympathetic, and selfish person they truly are. It’s a messed-up situation whenever this happens and it’s one of the reasons why I went to law school-to correct these types of injustice.
One of the core pillars of the Spitz law firm is to stand up for the rights of others and get justice for those who have been wronged. While this may seem like a common-sense concept that all lawyers should follow, the Spitz law firm is one of the few firms actually living and breathing by that mantra. Every attorney here is dedicated to seek justice for our clients.
Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, said it best, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” As an employee, you still have power, you still have rights even if you were fired, or quit. Whenever a boss breaks the law, it’s traumatic for the employees, especially if the boss is not paying the employee as much as he/she should. Take back your power, stand up for your rights. Send a message to the bosses who wronged you that they can’t get away with this anymore.
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 866-797-6040.
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.