Cincinnati employers paid $3.7 million in back wages to their employees over the last 6 years for violations of federal wage laws.
While not all violations of wage laws are intentional, the increasing prevalence of minimum wage and overtime violations, timesheet fraud, improper treatment of tips, and other violations have led to the term “wage theft.”
In an April 2014 editorial entitled, Wage Theft Across the Board, The New York Times called wage theft “a huge and underpoliced problem.”
Click here to see a list of the 100 Cincinnati employers that paid the largest amounts in back wages for violations of minimum wage and/or overtime laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act according to data published by the U.S. Department of Labor and compiled by C4AD.
Nearly 6,400 Cincinnati employees were owed back wages. On average each employee received $576 which, at the Ohio minimum wage rate of $8.10 per hour, represents 71 hours–almost two weeks–of work.
Generally, a two-year statute of limitations applies to the recovery of back pay under the FLSA. In the case of willful violations, a three-year statute of limitations applies.
Back wages may be recovered under other federal laws enforced by DOL’s Wage and Hour Division including the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act, among others.
Workers may also seek payment of back wages through other means. They can ask employers for payment, either directly or with the assistance of an advocate such as an attorney or the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center. Workers can submit a formal complaint with the Ohio Department of Commerce, Bureau of Wage and Hour Administration. They can file a lawsuit. For workers in the construction industry, a mechanics lien may provide a remedy.
By Mike Brown. Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.