Ohio Leave Laws

January 8th 2024

The value of taking time off from work cannot be overstated as it is vital for employee welfare and cultivating a productive work environment.

Each state in the US has its own set of guidelines to determine whether certain leaves are legally required.

This article aims to delve into the legal obligations surrounding leave in Ohio and the different types of leave options available to employees.

There might be distinct regulations applicable to employers in the public and private sectors.

In Ohio, leave days are divided into mandatory and non-mandatory categories, each with its own set of guidelines and requirements.

This Article Covers

Ohio Required Leave
Ohio Non-Required Leave

Ohio Required Leave

Ohio provides several required leaves that offer specific protections and benefits to employees that they may take without facing negative consequences from their employer.

1. Family and Medical Leave – 

  • Eligibility: Employees who experience a medical emergency or need to care for a family member in a similar situation and have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and completed 1,250 hours in that time.
  • Duration: Up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: This applies to events such as childbirth, adopting or fostering a child, having a personal health condition that keeps you from working, or caring for a relative with a serious health condition.

2. Jury Duty Leave –

  • Eligibility: Employees in Ohio summoned for jury duty.
  • Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the jury service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To serve on a jury or when subpoenaed as a witness.
    The law forbids employers from threatening or firing employees for fulfilling their civic duty. That said, employers may request that their workers use their vacation time to cover any absences related to jury duty

3. Emergency Response Leave –

  • Eligibility: Ohio State employees who volunteer as firefighters or EMS providers. However, they must adhere to certain rules before requesting leave, such as providing proof of certification and notifying their employer in advance of their absence. If circumstances prevent them from doing so, they must provide a written explanation from their chief of emergency services. Moreover, the employer can subtract any hours missed due to emergency response from the employee’s total wages.
  • Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: During declared emergencies when their services may be required. 

4. Military Leave – 

  • Eligibility: Members of the uniformed services can take unpaid military leave and still receive full seniority credit during their deployment – as long as:
    1. Their active military service is under 5 years
    2. Their military discharge is not dishonorable
    3. They give the employer notice of their military service.
    Additionally, they must return to work in a timely manner. After deployment, they can return to their previous position with the same benefits and seniority level.
  • Duration: The scheduled duration of duty.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For deployment or military training.

5. Family Military Leave –

  • Eligibility: The parent, spouse, or legal custodian of a uniformed services member. The employee must provide written notice, meet certain length-of-service and hours-worked requirements, and exhaust all other available leave options except for sick or disability leave.
    Upon returning from this leave, the employee is entitled to all benefits that were in place prior to the family medical leave.
  • Duration: Up to 10 days or 80 hours of unpaid family military leave.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When the family member is called to active duty, injured, or hospitalized during deployment.

6. Leave for Victims of Crime –

  • Eligibility: Ohio employees who have experienced domestic violence.
  • Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the medical and legal proceedings. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To attend various court proceedings related to their case, such as criminal case court preparations, grand jury appearances or criminal proceedings where they have been subpoenaed to testify.
    However, during the absence, the employer may withhold pay unless the criminal proceedings were a result of injuries suffered at work.

7. Bereavement Leave (Public Employees) –

  • Eligibility: Public servants.
  • Duration: A maximum of three days off with pay.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When employees lose an immediate family member.

8. Vacation and Holiday Leave (Public Employees) –

  • Eligibility: Public employees who work full-time. Furthermore, State employees can take advantage of paid leave on public holidays.
  • Duration: Depending on the number of years served:
    After one year of service, employees are granted 80 hours of paid vacation time. After 8 years of service, an employee can earn 120 hours of vacation time.
    After 15 years, they can receive 160 hours
    After 25 years, they can get 200 hours. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For a personal break or to celebrate a public holiday.

9. Voting Time Leave –

  • Eligibility: Ohio employees.
  • Duration: Reasonable amount of time off to cast a vote.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To participate in the electoral process.

Ohio Non-Required Leave

In Ohio, certain leave benefits are at the discretion of the employer and are not considered a legal obligation. These leave types are:

1. Bereavement leave (Private Employees) –

In Ohio, private employers are not mandated to offer bereavement leave to their employees.

2. Vacation and holiday leave (Private Employees) –

Ohio employees who work in the private sector do not have a guaranteed right to take vacation time or to receive paid holidays. This is usually the case if their employment contract doesn’t specify otherwise.

Here is a table of official US holidays observed in Ohio:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Day after Thanksgiving Fourth Friday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

If you want to know more about the entitlements of employees in Ohio, you can read our guides on your rights as a salaried employee in Ohio, and your rights as an hourly employee in Ohio. Learn more about Ohio Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.