We are currently short handed at my gas station job. We are owned by a small corporation, less than 1000 employees. Regularly my co-workers and I will come in early, up to an hour, and stay late, as much as 2 hours on occasion. I would guess that we are working good 50 hour weeks, but as employees we are only reporting 40, and therefore only getting paid for 40. My manager and his regional manager both know about the situation: they are doing the same thing, only they are salaried and do not qualify for overtime. In this difficult job-finding climate, is it even worth it to report this and potentially loose my job? What if my employer has to close down stores because of this? Since only the last 4 weeks are kept on video, can I even be compensated more than what is on camera?
Employment / Labor Attorney
You are correct that you are required to be paid for the hours you work by both the Ohio laws and Fair Labor Standards Act. You are also correct that absent exemption, you are entitled to overtime for time worked in a workweek in excess of 40 hours. You can be compensated for the hours that are not on camera, but should look at what information you have to show the hours you work. The statute of limitations for the Fair Labor Standards Act is 2 years and is extended to 3 years if the violation is willful. So you should consider the time you worked and were not properly compensated for at least the last two years.
The anti-retaliation provision of FLSA provides that an employer is prohibited from “discharg[ing] or in any other manner discriminat[ing] against [an] employee because such employee has filed [a] complaint or instituted ... any proceeding under [the FLSA].” 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3).
I highly recommend consulting with an employment attorney to review your situation in more detail. You could also consider making a complaint with the Department of Labor. See their website at http://www.dol.gov/wecanhelp/howtofilecomplaint.htm for more information on filing a complaint.
The above information is shared for educational and discussion purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is intended or established through your reliance on the information provided. If your legal rights could be impacted by using this information, you are urged to seek legal counsel before taking action.
Employment / Labor Attorney
Ohio employers of your company's size are obligated to pay their hourly workers for every hour worked and overtime of time-and-a-half for any hours over 40 worked in a week. You have the right to be compensated according to the law whether or not there is a videotape. You may be underpaid in violation of Ohio and federal wage laws. I strongly encourage you to seek the advice of an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible, especially because the time available for you to recover past lost wages could be limited to two years. The attorney will evaluate your case and tell you whether further action is advisable or necessary. Be aware that wage laws generally offer protection against retaliation for workers who complain that those laws are not being complied with.
This answer is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not act or rely on this answer without consulting with an attorney one-on-one. The response cannot and is not intended to replace a face-to-face or telephone consultation with an attorney, and no attorney-client relationship is created by this response in the absence of a fully executed representation agreement. agreement, even if a response was given to a question