Sole Practitioner Of Counsel
Location: Akron, Ohio
Throughout my 35 plus years of practice I have represented individuals in all aspects of employment law in order to protect their jobs and families from the arbitrary actions of management who often view their employees as disposable. I have been proud to represent victims of discrimination of all types and effectively prosecuted their claims in either federal or state court. More recently my firm has advocated for employee who have been harassed on the basis of their sex, age or race. We have discovered that simply because an employer may have a procedure for reporting such harassment does not mean that the employee is protected or that the claims are fully investigated.
The Law Offices of F. Benjamin Riek III has won significant victories for whistleblowers in both administrative and state court actions. We are proud to represent those few individuals who are willing to put aside the fears of retaliation and bring forth the illegal or dangerous actions of their employers -whether it is a pollution violation or misstating financial records. There are strong laws to protect employees in many areas who become aware of illegal activities at work. We are always willing to represent you before the proper agency or in court.
In recent years, I have seen a significant increase on the number of cases of retaliation from employers for either reporting discrimination or harassment or cooperating in the company’s investigation of the claim. The employees targeted for retaliation are not just those who were victimized but also the witnesses who saw and heard what happened and told the the truth, however inconvenient it might be to management. Don’t let the human resource department or a supervisor intimidate you!
It is surprising that even today many companies try to cheat their employees out of the proper earnings through a variety of illegal activities. Some of the more obvious are forcing their workers to work off the clock, either before or after their shift, failing to pay overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week, or telling you that you are an independent contractor when you have no control over your work hours. All of these actions violate the Fair Labor Standards Act which has been enforced since the 1930’s. If you are classified as an independent contractor, not only does the company avoid withholding taxes, they also don’t pay their portion of social security and unemployment taxes that could affect you as you near retirement.
I have a broad and diverse background representing employees and am always willing to meet with you to discuss your situation.
Areas of Practice
15% Employment Law – Employees General
30% Discrimination and Harassment Law
25% Whistleblower Law
15% Wage Hour & Overtime Law
15% Non-Compete Law
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 1980
U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1990
Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, Ohio
J.D. – 1978
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
B.A. – 1975
- Williams v. United Dairy Farmers, 20 F. Supp.2d 1193 (S.D. Ohio 1998)
- Lake Land Emp. Group v. Columber, 101 Ohio St.3d 242 (Ohio Sup. Ct. 2004)
- Fasteners for Retail v. DeJohn et al, 2014-Ohio-1729 (Ohio Ct. App. 2014)
- Balog v. Matteo Aluminum Inc., 2003-Ohio-2310 (Ct of App. 2003)
- Tysinger v. Police Department of Zanesville, 463 F.3d 572 (6th Cir. 2006)
- McIlwain v. Ohio Dep’t. of Mental Health, 409 F. Supp.2d 908 (N.D. Ohio 2006)
- Donahoo v. Ohio Dep’t. of Youth Services, 237 F. Supp.2d 844 (N.D. Ohio 2002)
- Marano v. Aircraft Braking Systems, Inc., 138 F. SUpp.2d 940 (N.D. Ohio 2001)
- McGuire v. Elyria United Methodist Village, 152 Ohio App.3d 186 (Ct of App.)
Employment Law Trial Tactics, Cleveland Employment, 1999 – 2007
Professional Associations and Memberships
Ohio Employment Lawyers Assoc., Member, 1995 – 2015
Cleveland Employment Lawyers Assoc., Member, 1997 – 2015
Past Employment Positions
U. S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, Trial Attorney, 1980 – 1986