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Paid less than state minimum wage but bonus offered, Ohio

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  • Paid less than state minimum wage but bonus offered, Ohio

    I have an employer who plans on paying less than the minimum wage in the state of Ohio for 2009. However the employer hires you with contracts and if the contract is full-filled, an employee would receive their bonus and pay would average slightly higher than minimum wage. Is this legal? From what I've seen the company is in no way exempt from paying minimum wage,(however the employees are exempt from receiving overtime.) Also if you are paid less than minimum wage and don't receive your bonus, could to try to get back to money to match minimum wage for the hours you did work?

    I also found this under Ohio laws,
    "With respect to employees who are exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act or this chapter, “pay rate” means an employee’s annual base salary or other rate of pay by which the particular employee qualifies for that exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act or this chapter, but does not include bonuses, stock options, incentives, deferred compensation, or any other similar form of compensation."

    Does that have anything to do with this? Got this from http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4111 under section 4111.14

    I'm just curious if this is true so I can make a sweat shop paying people $2 an hour, but provided a bonus of 6 dollars for every hour worked after a contract that I may terminate for no reason is fulfilled.

  • #2
    Lets stay with federal law for the time being. If the employee is eligible for minimum wage under federal law (FLSA) then there is nothing any state can do to change that. Under FLSA there are something like 100 different exemptions from either minimum wage, overtime or both. These exemptions are a function of the actual job duties of the employee and sometimes the industry. Can you describe these?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      The company is an amusement park, part of a huge chain, that hires employees as seasonals. According to this article amusement park employees were exempt from minimum wage in ohio. Then in 2007,(date of the article), the exemption was removed and hasn't been reinstated,

      "Notably missing from the Commerce exemptions are agricultural, home health and amusement park workers. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the absence of these exemptions "stunned Sen. Steve Stivers, one of the most vocal advocates of exempting home health-care, farm and amusement-park workers from the minimum-wage increase approved in November by Ohio voters."

      Here's the article http://www.myemploymentlawyer.com/se...s/29-guid.html

      I guess I can't understand why this would be a big deal if amusement park workers are exempt of minimum wage through FLSA anyways.

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      • #4
        Under federal rules only, there is a potential exception to both minimum wage and overtime for seasonal workers at amusement parks.
        http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs18.pdf

        Ohio is not my state and I do not know what rules (if any) OH has on this subject. Perhaps another responder does.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DAW View Post
          Lets stay with federal law for the time being. If the employee is eligible for minimum wage under federal law (FLSA) then there is nothing any state can do to change that.
          The problem isn't that the minimum wage is lower than the federal rate, the problem is that they are attempting to pay lower than the state minimum. It is understood that we are exempt from paying minimum wage under federal law, but amusement parks are not exempt under state law. And according to this article the company would be required to pay the higher of the two, http://usgovinfo.about.com/blminimumwage.htm

          I'm not so concerned with exemptions, but has anyone ever heard of being able to pay less than minimum wage in a non-tipped position, provided the company offers you a bonus.

          Does anyone know where I could report(preferred online) of the potential of a violation?

          Any help is greatly appreciated, I speak for thousands of voices within the company.

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          • #6
            http://www.com.ohio.gov/laws/MinimumWageLaws.aspx

            So, the "bonus" is a non-issue as it appears per the link above that Ohio does not recognize the amusement park/seasonal employer exemption from MW and OT.

            http://www.com.ohio.gov/laws/MWOTComplaint.aspx
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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