Ohio Leave Laws


Vacation Leave

In Ohio, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment, so long as the forfeiture policy is clear and explicit and the employees have notice of the policy. See Ervin v. Oak Ridge Treatment Center Acquisition Corp., 2006 Ohio 3851 (OH App. 2006).

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year, so long as the forfeiture policy is clear and explicit and the employees have notice of the policy. See Ervin v. Oak Ridge Treatment Center Acquisition Corp., 2006 Ohio 3851 (OH App. 2006).

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. See Fridrich v. Seuffert Construction Co., 2006 Ohio 1076 (OH App. 2006).

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment if the employer’s established policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. See Fridrich v. Seuffert Construction Co., 2006 Ohio 1076 (OH App. 2006).

An employer may lawfully cap the vacation leave an employee can accrued over time, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy. See Ervin v. Oak Ridge Treatment Center Acquisition Corp., 2006 Ohio 3851 (OH App. 2006).

An employer may lawfully implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employer has properly notified its employees of the vacation policy. See Van Barg v. Dixon Ticonderoga Co., 2003 Ohio 2531 (OH App. 2003).


Sick Leave

Ohio law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer is not required to pay an employee for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment. OH Labor Law FAQs

An employer in Ohio may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.


Holiday Leave

Ohio law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Ohio, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. OH Labor Law FAQs

State holidays

Visit our Ohio State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Ohio as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.


Jury Duty Leave

An employer is not required to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury.

An employer may not discharge, threaten to discharge, or take any disciplinary action that could lead to the discharge of any permanent employee who is summoned to serve as a juror if the employee gives reasonable notice to the employer of the summons prior to the commencement of the employee’s service as a juror and if the employee is absent from employment because of the actual jury service.

An employer may not require or request an employee to use annual, vacation, or sick leave for time spent responding to a summons for jury duty, time spent participating in the jury selection process, or for time spent actually serving on a jury.

OH Statute 2313.19


Voting Leave

Ohio law prohibits employers from terminating or threatening to terminate an employee for taking a reasonable amount of time off to vote. Employers are only required to pay salaried employees for voting leave. An employer who violates this law may be required to pay a fine not less than $50 nor more than $500. OH Statute 3599.06


Bereavement Leave

Ohio law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.


Ohio Military Leave

Ohio has its own law concerning Ohio military family leave. If an employer has at least 50 employees, they must provide time off to eligible employees who are the legal custodian, spouse, or parent of a current member of the uniformed services who has been called for active duty for more than 30 days or who is injured, hospitalized, or wounded on active service. In addition, the employee has the right to 80 hours or 10 days of unpaid leave, whichever is less.


Family and Medical Leave Act

Although Ohio does not have state laws regarding family and medical leave, employers must adhere to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Any employer with more than 50 employees for a minimum of 20 weeks in the previous or current year must adhere to this act.

Employees who have been employed at the same business for at least 12 months, worked for at least 1,250 hours within the last 12 months, and worked at a company with a minimum of 50 employees in a 75-mile area, are eligible to take time off under the FMLA.

An employee may take leave under this act:

  • To recover from a serious health issue
  • If they are currently extremely ill
  • To bond with a new child
  • To care for family members suffering from a serious health concern
  • To handle qualifying circumstances that arise from the military service of a family member
  • To care for a member of a family who was seriously injured during military duty

Employees in Ohio may take up to three months of leave in one year for any of these reasons. This leave renews every 12 months as long as the worker meets eligibility requirements.

However, if this is military caregiver leave, an employee may be eligible for 26 weeks’ leave in one year. This is the case on a per-service or per injury basis. Unless the same person is re-injured or a different family member suffers an injury during military service, the employee will not receive additional leave.

Employees who take time off under the FMLA have the right to continue receiving and paying into their healthcare insurance at the same cost. The FMLA leave is always unpaid, although employees may be required or allowed to use accumulated paid leave while on FMLA leave.

When this leave ends, the employee has the right to be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position, barring extenuating circumstances.


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