What to Do If My Employer Doesn’t Pay Me on Time?
Payday laws govern how and when employers pay their employees. An employer with more than five employees is required to have set times for paydays, give them notice about their paydays. A payday in the State of Ohio can be daily, monthly, semi-monthly, weekly or every two weeks. An employee that has unpaid pay claims should first communicate with the employer with a written notice that states a deadline for wages. When this has not been responded to, the claimant can then file a wage claim with the Ohio State Department of Commerce, or with the help of an employment and labor attorney in Columbus, file a wage suit in state or superior court.
Ohio law mandates the payment of all employees, including those who are terminated or have resigned and up to their last hour of service; promptly made at the first regular pay date. Earned vacation time and bonuses also constitute hourly pay, salary or wages. An employer that makes deductions, unless in exceptions like benefits deductions or withholding taxes, is acting contrary to the wage law, which requires that the employee must sign for any alterations to their salaries.
Employers and any of their corporate proxies violating this act face payment for damages to an employee who files a claim with the Ohio Department of Commerce. Under Ohio law, a claimant may also file a suit with either local or state court without going through the Ohio Department of Commerce; as a class or individual action. The Ohio Department of Commerce, after the augmented rules of the Ohio wage laws; has now been empowered to administratively formulate proceedings and adjudicate the claims that don’t exceed $3000 per employee.
The Department of Commerce has further reduced the deadline for an employee to employer wage claim, which now stands at only 10 days. An employer losing before the department and failing to comply within the 15 mandated days is penalized with 20% of the total amount owed plus a $250 fee for administration. The law also makes it a misdemeanor of class B for an employer or agent refusing to pay due wages. For amounts larger than $5000, the employer faces a class A felony that is with counts increasing with each day that the offense is committed.
The defaulting employee can be sentenced to a year in jail with a fine of up to $2,500 or three years and $25,000 if the offense took more than two years; making the charge a class 4 felony. The Ohio Department of Commerce, the state, and federal court system, with assistance from the new law, frown on employers who don’t pay on time or are retaliating for claim to an employee’s earned wages.