Ohio Leave Laws
Paid Time Off (PTO) in Ohio
Vacation Leave Quota
Ohio doesn’t demand vacation days.
Private employers in Ohio are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation.
Although it is not required by law, most employers in the private sector offer 10 paid days off after completing one year of work. However, the amount of paid time off (PTO) can vary based on factors such as the industry, location, and the employee’s length of service with the company.
So, if employers choose to offer vacation leave to their employees, paid or unpaid, it must be in accordance with appropriate state law, established company policy, and the employment contract.
The accrual system is not mandatory in Ohio, however, it’s commonly used by most companies.
Employers are generally free to design their own vacation accrual system, such as daily, weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly accruals. It is usually based on the pay period. The official payroll frequency in Ohio is semi-monthly, which means that employers are required to compensate most hourly workers through a regular payday, at the very least semi-monthly.
Employers can cap (limit) the amount of vacation time employees can accrue, but employees must be properly notified about this.
Roll Over (Carry Over, Brought Forward)
A Use-It-or-Lose-It policy is allowed.
A “use-it-or-lose-it” employee vacation policy requires an employee to lose any unused vacation time after a specific date, such as the end of the year.
A use-it-or-lose-it policy is not addressed by state statutes, which means that employers can apply it.
Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay
There are no statutory provisions addressing vacation pay. Accrued and unused vacation time is not considered wages. Employers are not obligated by law to provide vacation pay.
Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination
The state does not require employers to provide PTO payout on termination.
Since there are no state provisions, employers are required only to follow company policy.
An employer may legally establish a policy or contract that denies employees payment for accumulated vacation time upon their departure from the company. Employers can also legally set a policy or contract that denies employees payment for unused vacation time upon leaving the company if they don’t meet certain requirements, such as giving a 2-week notice or being employed on a specific date. The policy must be clear about this and keep employees informed.
Employers must pay accrued, unused vacation on the termination only if:
a) the company policy or employment contract is silent on this matter.
b) the company policy or employment contract requires this.
Sick Leave in Ohio
Federal law requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave. No additional state sick laws.
Federal Laws – Leave Quota
Federal law requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave.
The standard federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to Ohio (as it is in all the states in the U.S.A). The leave is job-protected.
Employees qualify for FMLA benefits only if:
- they have been employed for at least 12 months (at least 25 hours per week) or 1,250 hours in the previous year
- they work in a location where at least 50 people are employed by the company (in a 75-mile radius)
The FMLA entitles qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks off for:
- personal medical reasons – illness or injury
- to care for a close family member (child, spouse, or parent) suffering from a severe illness
- maternity or paternity leave.
Employers are free to propose additional sick leave benefits that are better than the minimum federal requirement.
Check out our article on FMLA to learn more.
Ohio State Laws
No additional state sick laws.
In Ohio, no state law mandates private sector employers to offer sick leave, paid or unpaid, to their employees, although some employers (especially big companies) do offer it as a common benefit.
Employers often provide greater benefits than those prescribed by the law. Many employers give paid leave or provide more sick days than the bare minimum.
It’s crucial to remember that if an employer opts to grant sick leave benefits, they must comply with the provisions specified in the employment agreement or employee manual. This could establish a legal obligation for the employer to provide these benefits.
Sick leave in Ohio is unpaid.
Maternity, Paternity, FMLA in Ohio
12 weeks of unpaid maternity/paternity leave is provided by FMLA.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for family or medical reasons, including maternity or paternity leave. Unless otherwise authorized by the employer, an employee must take this leave continuously. More information about FMLA eligibility can be found above, under the section Sick Leave in Ohio: Federal Laws – Leave Quota.
New parents are entitled to at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave as required by law, but companies usually extend the number of weeks. Employers can also choose to pay any amount during the leave, with top employers typically paying full salary over the first several months to attract top talent.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is one more federal law that protects pregnant women. According to the PDA, discrimination against pregnant people is prohibited in all areas of employment: hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, fringe benefits, training, leave, and health insurance.
Additional State Laws in Ohio
There are no additional laws providing days off for maternity/paternity leave.
The Ohio Civil Rights Act
This act applies to all employers with 4 or more employees, and provides protection from discrimination on the basis of sex and pregnancy. The law prohibits employers from penalizing employees due to pregnancy or childbirth leave. Employees with temporary disabilities due to conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth must be treated the same way as employees with any other disability.
Maternity and paternity leave in Ohio are unpaid.
Bereavement Leave in Ohio (Funeral Leave)
An employer is not required to provide bereavement leave.
An employer is not legally required to provide any paid or unpaid bereavement leave, or any time off to attend an immediate family member’s funeral.
Despite the law, almost all American companies provide up to 3 days of paid leave for bereavement purposes (some companies even provide up to 5 or 6 days).
Bereavement leave in Ohio is unpaid.
Jury Duty Leave in Ohio
Employers must provide employees unpaid time off for jury duty.
Employers must give their employees job-protected leave, without pay, for jury duty or to report to jury selection. However, employees need to notify their employer of the requirement in a timely manner by providing them with a copy of their jury summons.
An employer can’t make their employees use other forms of leave, such as vacation or sick time, to compensate for time off taken for jury duty. Additionally, the employer cannot dismiss, intimidate, or punish the employee for participating in jury service.
The employer pays:
Employers don’t have to pay wages or salaries to someone who is on jury duty leave, but some employers opt to pay their employees their full salary during this time, recognizing the importance of this civic duty.
The court pays:
Employees who serve as jurors in Ohio are paid $10.00 a day (though juror pay is only a token amount).
Witness Leave and Crime Victim Leave in Ohio
An employer is also mandated to provide unpaid leave to employees who are either victim of a crime or have been called as witnesses in criminal trials. Basically, the same rules as for jury duty leave apply here.
Military Leave in Ohio
All employers in the U.S. must comply with USERRA. Additional state laws.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that applies to employers of all sizes and types in the U.S. USERRA protects employees called to active duty in the U.S. military, including the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard. USERRA provides reinstatement rights, protection from discrimination, the right to continue group health care benefits for up to 24 months during their leave, and up to 5 years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions to this 5-year limit).
Ohio State Law
USERRA guarantees the same leave and reinstatement rights and benefits for the following types of employees:
- members of the Ohio organized militia or National Guard or any other state’s organized militia called for active duty or training
- members of the commissioned public health service corps
- members of any other uniformed service who are mobilized during war or emergency.
Also, Ohio laws assure that health benefits for reservists, including National Guard members, who are called to active duty will be continued.
Ohio Military Family Leave
An employer with 50+ employees must give eligible employees a maximum of 10 days or 80 hours (whichever is smaller) of family military leave each calendar year. The employer has the discretion to make the leave either paid or unpaid. Leave is job-protected.
An employee must meet the following eligibility criteria to qualify for the leave:
- they must have worked for the same employer for 12 months in a row and must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave.
- they must have a relationship as a parent, spouse, or have had legal custody of someone serving in the uniformed services who is called for active duty for more than 30 days or who is injured during active duty.
An employer can request that an employee uses up all other forms of leave available, except for sick or disability leave, before taking the leave.
An employer can request that the employee give 14 days’ advance notice for leave related to active-duty deployment or 2 days’ notice for leave related to injuries.
Military leave is unpaid.
(USERRA doesn’t require paid military leave, but it must be treated the same as other “comparable” leave. If an employer provides paid leave, they must pay military leave similarly. Employers can’t discriminate by paying for some leave but not military leave. It’s unclear what leave is “comparable”, so employers should be cautious and seek legal advice if needed.)
Voting Leave in Ohio
A reasonable amount of time.
An employer is obligated to provide their workers with a reasonable amount of time for voting purposes. Employees who vote on Election Day can’t be penalized or terminated.
There are no requirements regarding advance notice or proof of voting.
The law doesn’t define whether this leave must be paid, which means that it may be paid or unpaid, at the employer’s discretion.
However, an employer is required to pay salaried employees during this absence.
Ohio State Holidays for 2023
Ohio law doesn’t require private employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid holiday leave.
Private employers in Ohio are not required to provide paid or unpaid leave for holidays. Private employers can require all employees to work on holidays. However, the majority of employers in Ohio do provide at least several paid holidays.
Complete list of official holidays recognized and celebrated by the state of Ohio in 2023:
|Monday, 2 January||New Year’s Day|
|Monday, 16 January||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|Monday, 20 February||Presidents Day|
|Monday, 29 May||Memorial Day|
|Monday, 19 June||Juneteenth|
|Tuesday, 4 July||Independence Day|
|Monday, 4 September||Labour Day|
|Monday, 9 October||Columbus Day|
|Friday, 10 November||Veteran’s Day|
|Thursday, 23 November||Thanksgiving|
|Monday, 25 December||Christmas|
- The Ohio Employment Law Guide, https://joinhomebase.com/state-labor-laws/ohio/
- Ohio Payroll and Benefits Guide, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/united-states-ohio/
- Leave Laws by State and Municipality: 50-State Charts, https://www.xperthr.com/fifty-state-charts/leave-laws-by-state-and-municipality/20973/
Updated: February 10, 2023
Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.