Scroll Top

Is It Illegal to Pay an Employee Less Than Minimum Wage in Ohio


With a handful of exceptions, federal and state laws require employers to pay all part-time and full-time employees at least minimum wage or greater for all hours worked. An employee who gets paid less than minimum wage can sue their employer for unpaid wages plus additional damages and attorney’s fees.

In Ohio during 2018, the minimum wage was $8.30/hour for people who did not receive tips. Tipped employees include bartenders, waiters and waitresses, and any other employee who customarily receives tips in excess of $30 per month. An Ohio employer can pay a tipped employee $4.15/hour, but each person who receives the tipped wage must earn an average of at least $8.30/hour when his or her tips are added to their base pay. If they don’t receive enough tips to earn at least the full minimum wage, then the employer is responsible for making up the difference.

If your own employer is violating Ohio’s minimum wage law, call Coffman Legal at (614) 949-1181 to request a free and confidential consultation to determine which steps you can take to receive the pay you earned. We also schedule consultations through email.

Must Temp Workers Receive the Minimum Wage?

A person placed for a temp service is technically an employee of that placement service and must receive the applicable minimum wage. Whatever company hosts the employee pays the temp service and the temp service must pay the worker at least the minimum wage for all hours worked. A temporary worker’s pay is not subject to the temp service receiving payment from the host company.

How Does the Minimum Wage Relate to Overtime Pay?

Any exempt hourly worker who puts in more than 40 hours during a seven-day workweek qualifies to receive overtime pay equal to at least 1.5 times his or her regular rate of pay. For a person in Ohio who earns $8.30/hour, the overtime rate is $12.45 (assuming that the employer doesn’t provide any other type of remuneration that is to be included in regular rate computations). Tipped employees’ overtime rate is more complicated, but employers cannot simply pay 1.5 times the tipped employees’ base wage.

Who Is an Employee?

Only employees have the right to demand the minimum wage. Independent contractors such as self-employed handymen, freelance writers, hair stylists and independent graphic artists are not covered by the U.S. and Ohio laws that require employers to pay a minimum wage.

Of course, deciding who is a contractor is not always easy. Some employers tell workers they are contractors even though the employers should treat and pay those individuals as employees. The details get very complicated and each case presents its own facts. Questions about one’s status as a contractor can usually be answered by consulting with our Ohio employment attorneys.

What should I do if I’m not receiving minimum wage?

If the wages you are paid do not equal an amount that is more than the federal or state-mandated minimum wage for every hour worked, then you may have a claim against your employer for failing to pay the minimum wage. Contact our office at 1-614-949-1181 for a free consultation with a minimum wage attorneys with any questions about minimum wages or compensation.


Recent Posts