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A question about minimum wage in Ohio (for tipped employees)

FirmSkaterFirmSkater Registered User regular
edited September 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm trying to figure this out and I think this might be one of the better places to ask.

Consider this scenario:

Employee X is working as a server in a restaurant. Under Ohio law that server must make at least minimum wage ($7.40) when their hourly wage ($3.70) is combined with their tips.

Night 1:
Employee X makes $100 in tips a five hour shift.

Night 2:
Employee X makes only $1 in tips in a five hour shift

When the hourly wage and tips for both shifts are combined Employee X made $13.80 per hour - but on Night 2 the employee made just $3.90 per hour.

Here is my question: Is the employer required to adjust the hourly wage of the employee on Night 2, when they made only $3.90 per hour?

I have read the poster in the restaurant I work at several times (which you can read here) and find the wording semi-vague. It doesn't clarify whether the employer must verify their employee is making minimum wage per-shift or per-pay period, and I can't find any more detail with Google. So, H/A, I throw the question onto you.

FirmSkater on


  • wmelonwmelon Registered User regular
    In my experience in other states, It generally means if the employee makes less than minimum wage on average over the course of a month, rather than on a per shift basis.

  • SilverEternitySilverEternity Registered User regular
    I am not a lawyer, but have worked as a server and asked my father (who is a labor law/ workers' compensation attorney) this same question. He said it is the average over a period of time (either over the course of a paycheck or the month, I don't remember).

  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    H/A is from all over the US and the world. I would call the # on the poster. No one is going to know better than the people who are enforcing the law (Ohio in this case).

    However, in general, I agree with the others that it is probable per pay period.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    In my experience, it's over the course of a pay period. When they cut your check, they are required to make sure you have made at least minimum wage for the hours you've worked.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I have the same experience as Tox, it has always been per pay period.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    I'd just ask your employer. They know for sure.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • PkErthbndPkErthbnd Registered User
    edited September 2011
    Figured I'd throw a couple cents in as well. At my job as a bartender, we make $2.63/hr. If, with our tips that we claim at the end of the night don't add up over the two-week period, then we get a check for the difference between what we actually made per hour and what we'd make at minimum wage per hour over those two weeks. Now, assuming you're making pretty good money, you actually come in somewhere between $10-$15 an hour. This means, of course, that you get a zeroed-out check.

    Because of this, a lot of servers only claim 12% of their tips (as it tells us on our clock-out sheet) so they get a check every two weeks. I claim all of my tips because while I may not get a check every two weeks, come tax time I'll be getting a bigger refund check.

    I'd definitely agree on calling the number on the poster, though. They'll know 100% and can answer any questions you might have.

    PkErthbnd on
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Is a physical piece-of-paper check really how businesses still pay people in the US?

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    ...yes? I mean, yea, you can get direct deposit and then you just get a pay stub, but how else would one get paid?

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    One can opt for direct deposit, most people don't unless it's company policy not to.

  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Direct deposit is awesome.

    My company also gives the option for a pre-paid card that they just load your paycheck onto, but that option sucks.

    They really don't like to do paper checks.

    EDIT: And because this is H/A, per pay period is most likely but check with the employer and the state's labor board or other appropriate body.

    Tomanta on
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    PkErthbnd wrote:
    Because of this, a lot of servers only claim 12% of their tips (as it tells us on our clock-out sheet) so they get a check every two weeks. I claim all of my tips because while I may not get a check every two weeks, come tax time I'll be getting a bigger refund check.


    your morality shames us all.

    If I could hide 30%+ of my income from the wouldn't even be a question.

  • PkErthbndPkErthbnd Registered User
    It's not morality, really. It's the fact that if I got the check every two weeks I'd be more likely to just spend it. Getting a bigger amount at tax time means more money I actually save back.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    One can opt for direct deposit, most people don't unless it's company policy not to.

    Sorry to take this thread off on a tangent, but why would one prefer not to be paid by direct deposit? I can't think of any obvious reason, especially in these days of internet banking where one can check one's bank balance via smartphone.

    The last time I remember being paid with a check was... 1992? 1993? Around, then; I can't remember. And it seemed rather quaint even then (I did a summer job for a legal partnership who were a little set in their ways). But 2 decades later? That's like hearing that the firm employs a guy to write up the accounts in a brass bound ledger with a quill pen.

    I've been paid in cash since then, of course, but that was casual/off the books stuff.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    No tangents and no encouraging tax evasion.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Dear satan

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    You should call the wage and hour division of the Ohio DOC to see how they interpret their statute. The answer you seek could be in case law or an opinion letter.

    kaliyama on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    When I was a server it was over the course of a pay period, but you had to report nightly if you made under minimum wage. So on night 1 when you made $100 in tips you reported normally, but on night 2 if everyone stiffed you then you reported less than minimum on the computer at the end of the night and had the manager approve it, and you got the reimbursement on the next check or the one after.

    So yeah, we were required to adjust nightly, but it was an average over the course of the pay period. As it only happened like once or twice to me, I never got the bump on my check because I never averaged less than minimum wage.

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
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