Ohio Labor Laws

Ohio Labor Law Breaks

For breaks for workers 18 years of age and older, Ohio falls back on federal legislation. Only if it lasts less than 20 minutes must a meal break be paid if an employer wishes to offer one. As long as the employee is entirely relieved of all obligations, breaks longer than 30 minutes are considered meal intervals and do not require payment. For workers under the age of 18, at least 30 minutes are underpaid if they labor five straight hours.

Ohio Time Off

The state of Ohio does not have a law in regards to requiring that employees receive paid time off. However, companies and businesses may offer this benefit at their own discretion. Companies and businesses are then required by law to uphold these benefits if written in the policy.

Sick leave and paid holidays are not required by the federal government or by the Ohio state government. Employers have the option of providing this benefit but are under no legal obligation to do so. Many believe that they have the right to have holidays off and be paid, but federal law states that a company or business can lawfully be open three hundred sixty-five days a year. This in turn requires employees to work holidays and Sundays. If an employer provides a holiday off, he or she is not required to offer payment for those days.

Many companies and businesses provided sick leave for their full-time employees, however many have opted to provide paid time off instead. Sick leave is often abused when employees simply take the day off without illness. To stifle hostility and falsity in the workplace, paid time off allows individuals to have a specific number of days a year that they may use as they please. Paid time off does include sick days.

Unused vacation time is also not by law, neither state nor federal, required to be paid when an individual is terminated. Unless a company or business states in a written contract that unused vacation time will be paid, there is no legal obligation to do so.


The state of Ohio recently raised its minimum wage from seven dollars to seven dollars and thirty cents. This minimum wage is five cents higher than the federal requirement. In 2009 the federal government set a new minimum wage of seven dollars and twenty-five cents and required all states to raise their minimum wages. Some chose to match the federal minimum while others chose to go a dollar or more above the minimum.

Ohio chose to stay above the standard, ever so slightly. Under this law employees cannot legally be paid less than seven dollars and thirty cents an hour. However, if employees are regularly tipped, employers can lawfully pay them less. This number varies with each state. Ohio’s tipped minimum wage falls to three dollars and sixty-five cents an hour. This agreement is designed to even out the wages received along with the acquiring of tips.

Companies that make less than two hundred sixty-seven thousand a year can legally pay their employees just over six and one-half dollars an hour. Ohio law also permits minors of fourteen and fifteen to be employees at a lower wage.


The Family and Medical Leave Act allow employees to take necessary, unpaid leave for no more than twelve weeks without losing an employment position. Maternity leave is also covered under this act. The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal act that states that an individual may not be terminated because he or she is hospitalized, must care for an ill child, recently acquired a child, must care for an elder parent, or must handle any other psychological or medical necessity.

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