Message to Attorneys

If you are like most attorneys, you do not handle wage and hour issues like overtime and minimum wage claims. Instead of turning those cases away, I encourage you to first consult with my office. I will go over the facts of your case with you to determine whether a wage and hour violation has taken place. If the case warrants legal action, I can work with you to set up an ethical fee sharing and/or co-counsel arrangement.

Unless you know what to ask, wage and hour violations often go overlooked. Therefore, I listed a few intake questions you might consider asking clients that come to you with any sort of employment related issue. Many of my wage and hour cases actually come from clients who originally consult with me about an unrelated employment matter.

Sample intake questions

1. What are your job duties? [You are trying to discover the likelihood of someone being in an exempt position. Even if you are unaware of the various exemptions' requirements, finding this information can help me later assess the case.]

2. Are you paid hourly or salary?

3. Do you ever work more than forty hours in a week? If so, do you get paid at time and a half? [Remember, just because someone is paid a salary does not mean they are not entitled to overtime pay.]

4. Does your employer keep accurate records of the hours you work each day and how much you were paid? [If the employer is not keeping (good) records, that by itself can be a violation worth looking into.]

5. Do you ever work any time and not get paid? For example, before or after a shift or for time spent training. [Generally speaking, every employee is entitled to at least minimum wage for each hour worked. Employers often take advantage of people by asking employees to perform additional work off the clock (like counting a cash register drawer or cleaning up work areas).]

Message on "low value" cases

Sometimes, you might suspect that an employer has violated a wage and hour law, but the case appears to be too low value to take on. Even in those situations, it is worth giving me a call to discuss the case.

What may be "low value" to a lawyer is likely not low value to the client. A single week's paycheck can make a world of difference to a worker earning close to minimum wage.

Additionally, from a "business of law" perspective, small wage and hour cases might still be valuable for a couple reasons. First, generally the cases receive awards of attorney's fees. While the fee awards rarely fully compensate the plaintiff's attorney, it can still make a case worth taking. Second, the cases can often be brought as a class or collective action. When an employer violates the law with respect to one employee, they are likely doing it to others. The size of a class can make small, individual violations of significant aggregate value.

I am located in Columbus, Ohio, but I am able to handle or assist you in handling wage and hour cases throughout the state. Please do not hesitate to call my office with any questions. (614) 604-8759.

-Andy

Note: As of January 1, 2015, I have joined Markovits, Stock & DeMarco as Of Counsel. I am still available to assist you with any employment, minimum, or overtime issues you may have. My direct number is 614-604-8759.