What is the minimum salary to be paid to an employee?

I was working in the restaurant business for a new business and paid a weekly salary of $200. I was working between 70 and 110 hours per week and feel that I was underpaid. When taken to the owner of the company, he dismissed me, stating he couldn't afford to pay me any more compensation due to the lack of business. I was told by a friend that there is a minimum salary that is to be paid for restaurant/bar employees. Is this true and how do I get compensated for the year and a half that I worked for "slave wages"?

2 answers  |  asked Dec 18, 2009 09:29 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (2)

Neil Klingshirn
Under Ohio's minimum wage law, you are entitled to a minimum wage that started out at $6,85 in 2006 and is now at $7.30 for every hour that you work. So, if you worked 80 hours and the minimum wage was $7.00, you are entitled to $560, less the $200 that you were paid for that week. The fact that you received a salary does not change your right to the minimum wage.

Ohio's minimum wage law allows "tipped" employees to be paid one half of the minimum wage as a base salary, so long as the employer pays the other half as tips. In the example above, if you received $200 in salary and $100 in tips, you would be entitled to $260 more.

You can file a complaint with the Ohio Department of Commerce, who will investigate and can prosecute your claim. You can also go to court. If you win in court, you are entitled to an award of attorneys' fees. If you prove unpaid minimum wages, you are entitled to triple the unpaid wage.

A serious practical consideration is whether the owner will have the money to pay a judgment. If so, consider pursuing it.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Dec 18, 2009 12:47 PM [EST]
David Neel
What was your job?

posted by David Neel  |  Dec 18, 2009 09:54 AM [EST]

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