The Wrongs of Working off the Clock

Let us start by saying that common sense and our universal understanding morality tell us that people deserve to be paid what they earn. Forcing someone to work for free or for a subminimum wage not only goes against Congress’s directive but a civilized society’s understanding of what is right and wrong. In the employment context, however, it is far too common for employers to deny employees all wages for all hours worked. This can occur because of an employer’s simple oversight on one end to on the other an employer's willful scheme to deprive workers wages to increase the bottom line. An employer’s unlawful failure to pay for time worked can take many forms, including:

unpaid overtime clock
  • Forcing employees to answer phone calls after hours without compensation;
  • Refusing to pay employees for travel time when the destination is greater than the time it takes to get to the usual place of work or refusing to pay for travel time during the workday;
  • Requiring employees to arrive at work before the shift starting time. For example, where an employer requires employees to arrive at the workplace 15 minutes before the scheduled start time without pay;
  • Failing to pay employees for the time it takes to suit up a uniform in some circumstances;
  • Making paycheck deductions automatically for lunch breaks even though the employee does not always take a break or works through the lunch break;
  • Rounding employee start times and end times predominantly to the employer’s benefit;
  • Making seemingly random deductions to paychecks;
  • A policy of reducing wages or refusing to pay for employees to attend mandatory meetings or voluntary meetings that ultimately benefit the employer.

The examples above are only a few cases where employees have successfully sued and got back their wrongfully withheld wages. Ohio and Federal Law affords employees the right to recover unpaid wages and in some cases an additional one or two times unpaid wages. Furthermore, in many cases employees are entitled to attorney’s fees and the costs to bring an unpaid wage claim, including in cases involving unpaid overtime compensation and where the employer fails to pay minimum wage for all hours worked.

If you have not been paid for all time worked Attorney Kevin M. McDermott II can help. Call McDermott Law LLC at (216) 367-9181 for a Free Consultation and to discuss your options.