Late Pay Triggers Damages Claims

22 July 2022
Richard Bush
Late Pay Triggers Damages Claims

Employees rightfully expect to be paid on their regular payday. Especially in a time when most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, not getting paid ON TIME can result in bounced checks, late credit card and mortgage payments, bank fees, and other damages and hardship. Even if the employer later pays, the employee, and often his or her family, may suffer damages.

The United States Department of Labor and many federal and state courts have established that failure to pay an employee on the regularly scheduled pay date violates minimum wage laws. In other words, failure to pay on time is illegal. If overtime was worked, late pay may also violate federal and state overtime laws.

It is important to know that both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Ohio Minimum Wage Law provide for “liquidated damages” for minimum wage violations. Liquidated damages are not a penalty. Rather, liquidated damages are established by law as the proper measure of compensation for an employee’s damages. Under the FLSA Those damages are normally calculated as an amount equal to the unpaid minimum wages or overtime. The Ohio Minimum Wage Law is even more strict. An Ohio employer is liable for liquidated damages of double the amount of unpaid or late paid minimum wages.

What does this mean? Suppose a worker is paid his or her full wages a week late. Even though the worker has now been paid the wages required by contract and statute, he or she still has a claim for liquidated damages. As of 2022 the Ohio minimum wage is $9.30 per hour. Liquidated damages in double that amount would equal $18.60 per hour. Thus, an Ohio worker who is paid late can make a claim for $18.60 per each hour worked in the late paid pay period. In addition, employers must pay a prevailing employee’s legal fees and costs.
Green Haines Sgambati has successfully fought wage claims for thousands of employees in both individual and collective actions. Most wage and hour plaintiffs pay no legal fees up front, with fees being contingent upon successful recovery of unpaid wages or damages. If you have not been paid on time, or have other concerns about unpaid wages or overtime, we are here to speak with you.

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