Ohio Sick Leave Law

Eligible Employees

Any public and private employee who wants to take a leave of absence must adhere to the requirements outlined in the established policy. Whether paid or unpaid, a private employer may not allocate time off to anyone who does not match the sick leave requirements.

To be qualified for benefits and leave, employees must:

  • Have been with the business for at least a year;
  • Have spent the previous year working a minimum of 1,250 actual hours of service; and
  • Be employed at a location within a 75-mile radius with at least 50 workers.

For these reasons, Federal employees can take up to three months of leave in a calendar year. As long as the employee is eligible, this leave is renewable every 12 months for the following reasons:

  • Birth, adoption, or foster care within a year of having a child born into your family
  • Recuperating from a severe medical condition
  • Taking care of a family member with a critical illness and health concerns, including contagious disease
  • Assisting family members’ illness or injury from active duty in military service

Within 12 months, an employee eligible for leave may take up to 26 weeks to assist a member who suffered a severe injury or illness. The designated 12-month leave year timeframe for FMLA leave for military caregivers is distinct from the 12 months used for other leave-related circumstances.

Employees who use FMLA leave are entitled to continue receiving and contributing to their health insurance at the same rates during employment. However, employees may be required or permitted to use accrued paid time while on FMLA leave, or the leave remains unpaid.

Covered Employers

In Ohio, private employers must comply with the FMLA if they have at least 50 workers during the present or prior year. It also applies to employers in public agencies, including political subdivisions that render public service, regardless of the number of public employees.

There are no provisions in Ohio’s labor code that address paid leave for workers in government agencies and private employees. Private employers may stipulate their employment contracts to grant paid or unpaid leave of absence. They shall follow the established policy and give their staff advance notice of changes. Employers are not mandated to reimburse employees for the unused sick time upon termination.

The Ohio Department of Labor stipulated that paid sick leave is a negotiation between companies, public agencies, and employees. One of the requirements for employers is to provide a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave yearly to employees who need medical attention. The health issue must necessitate ongoing treatment by a healthcare provider or inpatient care at a medical facility to qualify for FMLA sick leave.

All public agency employees in Ohio are entitled to 4.6 hours of paid sick time every 80 hours. Government employees may use their leave credits to cover absences brought on by sickness, accident, pregnancy, or other medical conditions affecting a close relative. Employees can accrue sick days without restriction. Employees may keep their sick days when changing employment in the public sector if the gap between employee transfers is no longer than ten years.

Family Medical Leave

Ohio employees are entitled to time off for military family leave using Family and Medical Leave Act entitlements.

Employees who are parents, spouses, or guardians of a member of the uniformed services are entitled to time off, and their employers must accommodate them.

This leave applies to those employees whose family member is in military service. It includes military personnel in active service who render duty for more than a month and are injured or hospitalized while on military duty.

Salaried employees shall be entitled to 10 days of unpaid leave or 80 hours, whichever is less, with the continuation of benefits.

Parental Leave

Parents must take care of their newborns, welcome their foster children, and even care for their ill children.

It would be difficult for parents to take care of their children if the employer does not offer sick leave benefits. The Family And Medical Leave Act permits private employees to take advantage of the benefits, provided they comply with the sick leave requirements.

Like other sick leave laws in Ohio, parents must meet the following criteria. These requirements are:

  • Permanent full-time and part-time workers working 30 hours per week are eligible for up to 6 weeks’ leave for childbirth or adoption.
  • The employee must live with the child and be the child’s biological or legal guardian.
  • Leave must not exceed six continuous weeks. For full-time employees, it includes four work weeks of paid leave, and for part-time employees, it consists of a prorated amount.
  • Employees may use any accumulated personal sick leave credit, vacation, and compensatory time balances.

Employee Protections for Sick Leave

Ohio employees seeking sick leave have guaranteed protection to maintain their position while on vacation. Employers who are bound to the regulations of FMLA are encouraged to follow the provisions of the law strictly.

When employees’ leaves end, employers must reinstate them to a position similar to the one they held before taking their leave during the employment period. The said position must have the same benefit, equivalent in pay, and must have the same privileges. 

The employees of employers, while on leave, are entitled to enjoy the benefits of continued health insurance coverage.

While the leave is unpaid, the covered employee can use the accrued paid leave benefits, including the new sick leaves.

If an employer’s sick leave policy covers the grounds for absences, the employer may compel the worker to use accrued sick days under the FMLA.  

Other Ohio Sick Leave Law Provisions

Employers must follow the provisions laid down in Ohio concerning sick leave. It is essential to know this relevant information to safeguard the rights of every employee in exercising their leave credits.

Notice and Certification

Employers must give qualified workers several notes about their FMLA rights, including flexible leave established policies. They may also ask their employees to provide certifications for their break. Employers may need special requirements such as doctor notes or medical records without credentials.

Eligibility Requirements

Though Ohio does not require employers to provide sick leave benefits, private employees eligible under FMLA are entitled to the medical leave provisions. Employers in Ohio have discretionary policies on whether to grant or not the said leave benefits after filling out the employee leave form. 

Employee Bereavement Leave

Like sick leave or medical reasons, Ohio does not compel employers to provide bereavement leave benefits. An employee is granted a bereavement policy due to the death of a family member. 

Scheduling and Notice Requirements

The employers require their employees to give a thirty-day notice of the need for leave. Employees need to fill out the employee leave form. This notice requirement is common if someone gives birth or has a scheduled operation or any related health condition. 

Job Restoration

Upon the termination of the employees’ leave, the employer must restore the employees’ original or equivalent position. The employer must not terminate the employment contract unless the employee files for separation from employment. Discrimination against employees from using leave credits when they return to their position shall be discouraged.

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We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.