Ohio Labor Laws

Ohio Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of Ohio to have a solid understanding of Ohio labor laws.

  • Are you struggling to understand Ohio’s labor laws regarding wage rates and breaks?
  • Do you need clarity on minor labor laws for young workers in Ohio?
  • Are you unsure about your rights as an employee regarding disability leave and unemployment benefits?
  • Wondering how employment practices differ between private employers and independent contractors?

When it comes to employment law and regulations, you need to have a good understanding of the Ohio Revised Code.

To comply with the state’s employment regulations with employees and employers, having a well-rounded understanding is essential.

This article is for:

  • Employees seeking clarity on their rights regarding wages, breaks, and leave entitlements.
  • Employers aiming to ensure compliance with Ohio labor laws and avoid potential legal issues.
  • Individuals interested in understanding the distinctions between full-time and part-time employment, as well as the implications for benefits and unemployment insurance.

Employment regulations are often daunting, but with enough research, you’ll feel empowered to make informed decisions about your work life.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Ohio labor laws.

Ohio Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

The state of Ohio has its own minimum wage, which is adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index.

The minimum wage is currently $10.45 per hour.

Employers in Ohio must comply with the higher of either the state or federal minimum wage.

Currently, the Ohio minimum wage exceeds the federal minimum wage.

Tipped Employees

Employers may pay tipped employees a lower minimum wage provided their hourly tips. The maximum tip credit against the minimum wage is $5.20.


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outlines various overtime and minimum wage exemptions. Some common exemptions include executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees. Employers should carefully evaluate their employees’ duties to determine if they qualify for exemptions.

Ohio Payment Laws

Pay Frequency

Ohio employers are required to establish regular paydays which should occur at least twice a month.

Final Pay

In the case of termination, Ohio employers must provide final pay to departing employees no later than the next regular payday.

Permissible Deductions

Employers can withhold specific deductions from an employee’s paycheck, such as taxes and court-ordered garnishments. Other deductions may be permissible if authorized by the employee in writing.

Ohio Overtime Laws

Overtime Rate

Ohio law mirrors federal law in that non-exempt employees must receive one and a half times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.


Employees classified as exempt, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act, are not entitled to overtime pay.


Employers are obligated to maintain accurate records of employee work hours in order to ensure proper overtime compensation calculation.

Ohio Break Laws

Meal Breaks

Ohio law does not mandate employers provide meal breaks to employees who are 18 or older.

However, if an employer chooses to offer a meal period of 20 minutes or more, it should generally be considered unpaid time for non-exempt workers.

Rest Breaks

Ohio has no requirement for employers to provide rest periods (short breaks) for adult employees.

Ohio Leave Requirements

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA provides eligible employees of covered employers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for qualifying reasons.

These reasons include serious health conditions, caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, or specific circumstances related to a family member’s military service.

Sick Leave

While Ohio doesn’t have a statewide sick leave mandate, some municipalities may have local ordinances. Employers should check with their local jurisdictions.

Military Leave

Ohio adheres to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) which protects the employment rights of individuals serving in the uniformed services.

Jury Duty

Ohioans summoned for jury duty may take leave from work and generally cannot be penalized by their employers.

Voting Leave

Ohio employees have the right to take paid time off to vote.

Child Labor Laws in Ohio

Ohio has strict child labor laws aimed at protecting minors in the workforce. These laws set restrictions on:

Age of Employment

The minimum age for most jobs in Ohio is 14 years old. Younger teens may have more restricted employment options.

Working Hours

Minors are limited in the number of hours and the times of day they can work.

Hazardous Occupations

Ohio law prohibits minors from engaging in certain hazardous occupations.

Ohio Hiring Laws


Both federal and state laws (the Ohio Civil Rights Act) prohibit discrimination in employment based on protected characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or military status.

Background Checks

Employers in Ohio may conduct background checks, but must follow specific regulations and obtain consent.

Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9)

All employers are required by federal law to verify new employees’ eligibility to work in the United States using the Form I-9.

Ohio Termination Laws

At-Will Employment

Ohio is an at-will employment state. This means employers can generally terminate employees at any time, with or without cause, and without notice, as long as the reason is not discriminatory or in violation of law.

Exceptions to At-Will Employment

Although Ohio is an at-will state, exceptions exist. These include:

Employment Contracts

If an employee has a written contract with a set duration, termination terms must be followed accordingly.

Collective Bargaining Agreements

Union members are typically covered by collective bargaining agreements with specific termination provisions.

Public Policy Violations

An employer cannot terminate someone for engaging in a protected activity (e.g., whistleblowing) or refusing to commit an illegal act.

Occupational Safety in Ohio


The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) sets workplace safety standards. Ohio also has its own state-level occupational safety program that must be at least as effective as federal regulations.

Workers’ Compensation

Ohio has a workers’ compensation system providing benefits to workers injured or who become ill due to their employment. Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers must provide a safe and hazard-free work environment for their employees, including providing necessary safety equipment and training.

Understanding Your Rights and Obligations

Both employers and employees in Ohio have legal rights and obligations related to employment. Here are some key resources to turn to for information and guidance:

The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Wage and Hour


This state agency enforces wage, hour, and prevailing wage laws in Ohio.

Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC)

The OCRC investigates charges of employment discrimination and enforces the Ohio Civil Rights Act.

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

The DOL has extensive information on federal employment laws, including the FLSA, FMLA, and OSHA.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The EEOC enforces federal anti-discrimination laws in employment.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Ohio labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Ohio, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

US States

Need Help With Payroll?
Taxes filed for you, automatically.

Let Buddy Punch handle your payroll

Run payroll, pay employees & contractors, all in a few clicks.

Quickly pay your team, no matter where they are,