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Ohio Off-the-Clock Work Laws

Duwel Law March 24, 2023

Frustrated man working from home due to over workUnder Ohio laws, employers are required to pay their employees for all hours worked – even if they were volunteering. However, some employers may require their employees to perform work tasks outside of their scheduled work time without pay. In the event that your employee subjects you to off-the-clock work without wages, you may be entitled to take legal action.  

At Duwel Law, we have the resources necessary to advise and guide clients in employment law-related matters, including working "off the clock." Our experienced Ohio employment law attorneys can tell you about the state's rules addressing overtime and off-the-clock work and help protect your legal rights. We're proud to serve clients across Dayton, Darke County, Miami County, Montgomery County, Greene County, and Warren County, Ohio. 

Ohio Overtime Rule 

According to Ohio law, an employer is required to pay an employee for overtime at a wage rate of 1.5 times the employee's wage rate for overtime hours – working hours above 40 hours – weekly. For instance, if an employee who earns $30/hour worked for 50 hours in a week, the employer would pay: 

  • $30 each for the first 40 hours, and 

  • $45 ($30 x 1.5) each for the additional 10 hours. 

Understanding Working Off-the-Clock 

Working off-the-clock is a situation whereby a non-exempt worker performs work tasks outside of their scheduled work time, during an unpaid break, before or after clocking out. Generally, it is against Ohio state and federal laws for an employee to work off the clock. 

Examples of Working Off-the-Clock 

Here are some common examples of working off-the-clock that violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): 

  • Cleaning up after work. 

  • Returning work-related phone calls at home after work. 

  • Working during lunch break. 

  • Doing pre-shift work, such as warming the truck and preparing the worksite. 

  • Doing administrative work or attending meetings outside the employee's working hours. 

  • Waiting for the next project or job assignment. 

Can an Employer Require Me to Work Off-the-Clock? 

In the state of Ohio, it is illegal for an employer to require an employee to work off the clock. This is a violation of state employment laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Any employer who subjects their employees to working outside of their scheduled work time without pay may be liable for back wages. 

Employer Arguments for Off-the-Clock Work 

In most workplaces, the employer often creates and enforces a strict policy that forbids "off-the-clock" work. At times, it may be included in the employment contract. However, not all employers do this. When an employee files a complaint against their employer for unpaid overtime or off-the-clock work, the employer might argue that: 

  • The employee did the work voluntarily. 

  • The work was done without the employer's knowledge. 

  • The work was done wasn't authorized. 

  • The employer has a policy against it. 

Nonetheless, the working standard in Ohio that "all hours worked" by the employee must be paid would still apply. A trusted attorney can advocate for your best interests and attempt to pursue any back pay or unpaid wages you may be entitled to. 

Dependable Legal Guidance 

Ohio employment laws are established to protect employees and ensure that they are paid for every hour worked. If you believe that you have been treated unfairly by your employee with regard to wages for off-the-clock work or you want to defend yourself against a wage violation claim filed by an employee, hiring a highly skilled employment law attorney is crucial.  

At Duwel Law, we're poised and ready to guide and represent clients in their unpaid overtime claims. As your legal team, we will evaluate your specific situation and determine whether you have a wage violation claim. Our seasoned attorneys will represent you diligently in your case and help you recover the back pay and financial relief you deserve.  

Contact us at Duwel Law today to arrange a case assessment with an experienced employment law attorney. Our trusted attorneys have the reliable advocacy and skilled representation you need in your case. We're proud to serve clients across Dayton, Darke County, Miami County, Montgomery County, Greene County, and Warren County, Ohio.