Compliance Watch:
What are my overtime rights in Ohio?

May 16th 2024

Overtime laws, both at the federal and state levels, are designed to protect workers by mandating additional compensation for hours worked beyond a standard workweek. However, understanding an employee’s overtime rights in Ohio requires familiarity with the relevant regulations and exemptions outlined in the federal and state labor laws.

This article provides a comprehensive guide to the overtime rights of employees in Ohio, from determining overtime eligibility pay to understanding how overtime rates are calculated and the steps to take if employee rights have been violated.

This Article Covers

Understanding Overtime in Ohio
Common Questions About Overtime in Ohio
Legal Working Hours in Ohio
Overtime Eligibility in Ohio
    Overtime Payment Calculations in Ohio
      Receiving Overtime Payment in Ohio
      Violations of Overtime Law in Ohio

      Understanding Overtime in Ohio

      Is overtime pay mandatory in Ohio?

      In Ohio, overtime pay is mandatory for eligible employees under state and federal law. Eligible employees must be paid an overtime rate for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek unless they meet specific criteria for exemption outlined by state and federal regulations.

      When do I qualify for overtime pay in Ohio?

      Overtime pay qualification in Ohio is determined based on the number of hours worked in a workweek. The state does not consider daily or consecutive days worked.

      In Ohio, a standard workweek is defined as a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours, or seven consecutive 24-hour periods, and the state has set a 40-hour threshold for a workweek. So, even if an employee works fewer than 8 hours in a day but their total hours worked for the week exceed 40, the employee would still qualify for overtime pay.

      How much is overtime pay in Ohio?

      Overtime pay in Ohio is calculated at a rate of one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular pay rate for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. This means that for every hour of overtime worked, eligible employees are entitled to receive their overtime compensation at 1.5 times.

      For example, if a minimum wage earner in Ohio is paid $10.45 per hour, their overtime rate would be $15.68. So, for every hour of overtime worked, the employee would be paid $15.68.

      Which laws govern overtime in Ohio?

      Under both federal and state laws, Ohio employees are entitled to receive payment for working overtime unless they are exempt. Two main laws work in conjunction to establish overtime pay standards and ensure that employees are fairly compensated for any hours worked:

      • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): The FLSA is a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards for employees in the private sector and federal, state, and local governments. Under the FLSA, eligible employees must be paid overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay rate for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. The FLSA also provides exemptions for certain categories of employees based on job duties, salary level, and other criteria.
      • Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act: This state law sets forth minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for employees in Ohio. It requires employers to pay eligible employees overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay rate for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. The law also provides exemptions for certain categories of employees similar to those outlined in the FLSA.

      Common Questions About Overtime in Ohio

      Do employers have to pay overtime in Ohio?

      Yes, employers in Ohio are required to pay overtime to eligible employees. Under the FLSA and Ohio Minimum Fair Wages Standards Act, non-exempt employees must be paid 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for any hours worked beyond 40.

      Employers in Ohio must comply with overtime pay requirements to ensure fair compensation for employees who work overtime hours. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences, including penalties and back pay owed to employees.

      Can an employee refuse to work overtime in Ohio?

      Employees in Ohio have the right to refuse to work overtime hours. While employers can request that employees work overtime, they cannot force or coerce employees to work overtime unless a contractual agreement or specific job requirement states otherwise.

      However, it is important to consider the potential consequences of refusing to work overtime. While employees have the right to decline, repeatedly refusing overtime assignments could potentially affect their job status, performance evaluations, or future opportunities for advancement.

      Can I take comp time instead of overtime pay in Ohio?

      Comp time refers to paid time off granted to employees instead of overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. In Ohio, private sector employees cannot offer compensatory time (comp time) to non-exempt employees in place of overtime pay.

      Under the FLSA, private sector employers are required to pay overtime wages for any hours worked beyond 40, and compensatory time in place of overtime pay is not allowed as a substitute for paying overtime wages.

      However, some public sector employers, such as government agencies and certain nonprofit organizations, may be permitted to offer comp time instead of overtime pay under specific conditions outlined in the FLSA. These conditions involve agreements negotiated between the employer and employees of their representatives, and there are specific rules and limitations regarding the accrual and use of comp time.

      Can I get overtime pay in Ohio without employer approval?

      Yes, the FLSA and Ohio labor laws require employers to pay overtime wages to eligible, non-exempt employees for all hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek, regardless of whether the overtime was authorized or not.

      Employers have a legal obligation to accurately record and pay for all hours worked by their employees, including any overtime hours. If an employee works overtime hours without prior authorization from their employer, the employer is still required to compensate them for those hours at the required overtime rate.

      However, employers may set policies regarding overtime authorization and may require employees to obtain approval before working overtime hours.

      Does Ohio have double-time pay?

      Ohio does not mandate double-time pay for overtime hours worked. Employers in Ohio are only required to pay one-and-a-half times an employee’s regular rate for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

      While double-time pay is not mandated by law in Ohio, some employers may choose to offer double-time pay voluntarily as part of their compensation policies or collective bargaining agreements. The decision to provide double-time pay is at the discretion of the employer and is not required by state or federal law.

      What is working ‘off-the-clock’ in Ohio?

      Working “off-the-clock” in Ohio refers to performing job-related tasks or activities outside of their regular working hours for which an employee is not compensated. This could include activities such as answering emails or phone calls, attending meetings or training sessions, completing paperwork, or performing other job-related duties before or after scheduled shifts or during meal breaks.

      In Ohio, employers are required to compensate employees for all hours worked, including time spent working off-the-clock. Employees who believe they have been required to work off-the-clock without proper compensation may file a claim or legal recourse to pursue unpaid wages.

      What are common ways employers avoid paying overtime in Ohio?

      While most employers in Ohio comply with overtime pay laws, some may attempt to avoid paying overtime through various practices, intentionally and unintentionally. Some common ways employers may try to avoid paying overtime include:

      • Misclassifying employees as exempt: Employers may misclassify employees as exempt from overtime pay by incorrectly categorizing them as executive, administrative, or professional employees, even if their job duties do not meet the criteria for exemption. This can lead to employees being denied overtime pay when they are entitled to it.
      • Misclassifying employees as independent contractors: Employers may misclassify workers as independent contractors rather than employees to avoid overtime pay requirements. Under the FLSA, independent contractors are not entitled to overtime pay.
      • Requiring off-the-clock work: Employers may require or allow employees to perform “off-the-clock,” such as answering emails or completing tasks outside of their regular hours, without compensating them for these worked hours.
      • Providing comp time instead of overtime pay: In the private sector, some employers may offer compensatory time off instead of paying overtime wages, which is generally prohibited under federal law for non-exempt employees.
      • Shifting hours between workweeks: Employers may manipulate work schedules to avoid paying overtime by shifting hours between workweeks, such as reclassifying hours worked in one workweek as part of the next workweek to avoid exceeding 40 hours.
      • Using fluctuating workweek method: Some employers may use the fluctuating workweek method to calculate overtime pay for salaried non-exempt employees, which can result in lower overtime payments than the traditional method (one-and-a-half time rate). This method should only be used under certain criteria, such as when the employee’s worked hours fluctuate from week to week.
      • Misinterpreting overtime requirements: Employers may misinterpret or misunderstand overtime pay requirements, leading to unintentional violation of overtime laws.

      Can you work seven days in a row in Ohio?

      In Ohio, there are no specific laws prohibiting employees from working seven days in a row. However, there are regulations regarding overtime pay that employers must adhere to.

      Under federal law, the FLSA requires no days of rest or limitations on the number of consecutive days an employee can work. Similarly, Ohio state labor laws do not impose restrictions on the number of consecutive days an employee can work. However, some industries or collective bargaining agreements may have specific provisions regarding rest periods or scheduling limitations.

      Further, employers must comply with overtime pay requirements if employees work more than 40 hours in a workweek. This includes paying eligible employees overtime at a rate of 1.5 times for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek, regardless of whether those hours are spread out over seven days or fewer.

      How many ten-hour days can you work in a row in Ohio?

      In Ohio, there are generally no specific laws that limit the number of consecutive ten-hour workdays an employee can work. However, employers must comply with certain regulations regarding work hours, rest periods, and overtime pay.

      What are full-time hours in Ohio?

      In Ohio, there is no specific definition of “full-time hours” established by state law. Instead, what constitutes full-time hours can vary depending on the employer’s policies, industry standards, and collective bargaining agreements.

      According to the Ohio Administrative Code 3357: 12-3-01, an employee:

      • Working 40 hours in a workweek is considered full-time. However, the individual must work 40 hours per week in nine, ten, eleven, or twelve months out of the fiscal year to be considered full-time.
      • Working an average of 30 hours per week may be considered full-time. However, the employee must be on a 12-month contract.

      How many hours straight can you legally work in Ohio?

      There are no specific limitations on the number of consecutive hours an employee can work in a single shift or workday for adults (18 years or older). However, certain industries or occupations may be subject to regulations or guidelines regarding maximum work hours or rest periods.

      Under federal law, the FLSA does not establish any limitations on the number of consecutive hours an employee can work in a shift or workday, except for certain safety-sensitive occupations, such as truck drivers, airline pilots, or healthcare workers, who may be subject to specific regulations regarding maximum work hours and rest periods.

      Is overtime after eight hours or 40 hours in Ohio?

      In Ohio, overtime pay is calculated based on the federal standard, which is overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. This means that eligible employees are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one-and-a-half times their regular pay rate for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

      Does working on the weekend qualify for overtime pay in Ohio?

      No, employees in Ohio working on the weekend do not automatically qualify employees for overtime pay unless the hours worked exceed 40 in a workweek, regardless of whether those hours are worked on weekends, holidays, or any other day of the week, as long as they exceed the 40-hour threshold in a workweek.

      How many hours-off between shifts is required in Ohio?

      In Ohio, no specific state laws mandating the minimum number of hours off between shifts for adult employees (18 years or older). However, collective bargaining agreements, industry standards, or company policies may establish guidelines for minimum rest periods between shifts that employees are required to follow.

      What does ‘hours-worked’ include in Ohio?

      In Ohio, the term “hours worked” includes all the time during which an employee is required to be on duty, on the employer’s premises, or at a prescribed workplace, as well as any time spent performing job-related activities or tasks.

      Specifically, “hours worked” in Ohio may include, but are not limited to, time spent:

      • Performing principal activities that are integral to the employee’s job duties, whether performed before, during, or after the regular work shift. This includes tasks such as preparing for work, completing assignments, or cleaning up after work.
      • Being on-call or waiting for assignments if the employee is required to remain on the employer’s premises or at a designated location.
      • Attending meetings, training sessions, or other work-related events, whether held during or outside of regular work hours.
      • Taking rest breaks of 20 minutes or less that are compensable under federal law.
      • Traveling during the workday between job sites or customer locations as part of the employee’s job duties.
      • Performing work-related tasks outside of the workplace, such as answering emails or taking phone calls.

      What are the most hours a salaried employee can work in Ohio? 

      Generally, there is no specific limit on the maximum number of hours a salaried employee can work in a week under state law. However, certain industries or occupations may be subject to regulations or guidelines regarding maximum work hours to ensure employee health and safety.

      While there may not be legal limitations on the maximum number of hours a salaried employee can work in Ohio, employers are encouraged to provide adequate rest periods. Further, employers should comply with overtime pay requirements for non-exempt salaried employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

      Learn more about Your Rights as a Salaried Employee in Ohio.

      What is the maximum number of hours an hourly employee can work in Ohio?

      Ohio does not have a specific limit on the maximum number of hours an hourly employee can work in a day or week under state law. However, certain industries or occupations may be subject to regulations or guidelines regarding maximum work hours to ensure employee health and safety.

      Nonetheless, hourly employees who are classified as non-exempt from overtime pay requirements under the FLSA regulations are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

      Learn more about Your Rights as an Hourly Employee in Ohio.

      Overtime Eligibility in Ohio

      Who is eligible for overtime pay in Ohio?

      In Ohio, there are specific categories of employees who are exempt from overtime pay requirements under both federal and state law. Any employee who does not meet the criteria is eligible for overtime pay.

      Who is exempt from overtime pay in Ohio?

      Overtime pay exemptions are outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets the minimum standards for overtime pay. Here are some common exemptions from overtime pay in Ohio:

      • Salary Basis: Exempt employees are paid a predetermined, fixed salary that is not subject to reduction based on the quantity or quality of work performed. Such employees must meet or exceed the minimum salary threshold set by federal law, which is $684 weekly ($35,568 annually). Employers must note that salary thresholds are subject to change.
      • Executive Exemption: This exemption applies to employees whose primary duties involve managing the enterprise or customarily recognized department. Such employees must also direct the work of at least two or more full-time employees and have the authority to hire or fire employees, or their suggestions and recommendations as to hiring, firing, advancement, promotion, or other change of status are given particular weight.
      • Administrative Exemption: Employees qualify for this exemption if their primary duties involve office or non-manual work directly related to management or general business operations and include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment on significant matters.
      • Professional Exemption: This exemption applies to employees who perform work requiring advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning that is customarily acquired by prolonged specialized instruction or study. This category includes doctors, lawyers, engineers, and accountants.
      • Computer Employee Exemption: Employees engaged in computer-related occupations may be exempt if they meet certain criteria regarding their job duties, compensation, and qualifications.
      • Outside Sales Exemption: Employees whose primary duties involve making sales or obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities are exempt from overtime pay requirements. Such employees must be paid on a salary or commission-based structure and do not spend more than 20% of their work hours doing duties other than sales.
      • Highly Compensated Employee Exemption: This exemption applies to employees who earn a total annual compensation above a specified threshold and perform office or non-manual work, including at least one of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an executive, administrative, or professional employee.

      Can salaried employees get overtime pay in Ohio?

      Salaried employees can receive overtime pay if they meet the criteria for non-exempt status. Contrary to common belief, being paid on a salary basis does not automatically exempt an employee from overtime pay. The key factor is whether the employee meets the criteria for exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Ohio labor laws.

      To qualify for exemption from overtime pay, salaried employees must meet specific criteria related to their job duties, salary level, and whether they are under one of the established categories (executive, administrative, professional, or other recognized exemptions).

      If a salaried employee does not meet the criteria for exemption, they are considered non-exempt and are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay rate.

      Learn more in detail about Ohio Salaried Employees Laws and Ohio Overtime Laws.

      Overtime Payment Calculations in Ohio

      What is my regular rate of pay in Ohio?

      In Ohio, the regular pay rate refers to the compensation an employee receives for each hour of work. An employee’s regular pay rate should not be lower than the minimum wage in Ohio, which, as of January 2024, is $10.45 an hour.

      Salaried and commission-based employees can calculate their regular pay rate by dividing their weekly salary by the maximum number of standard hours in a workweek (40 hours).

      How do you calculate overtime in Ohio?

      In Ohio, overtime is paid at one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular pay rate. Salaried employees who are classified as non-exempt are eligible for overtime in Ohio for working more than 40 hours in one workweek.

      To calculate overtime in Ohio, multiply your regular hourly wage by 1.5 for each hour worked beyond 40. For example, if an employee’s regular hourly wage is $10.45, your overtime rate would be $15.68 per hour for any worked hours beyond 40 in a workweek.

      How is overtime taxed in Ohio?

      As for how overtime is taxed in Ohio, overtime pay is generally taxed as ordinary income at both the federal and state regulations. Wages are subject to federal income tax, state income tax, and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes. However, overtime pay is not subject to additional taxes beyond what is withheld from your regular wages.

      An employee’s tax bracket determines how much tax you pay, and the bracket you fall into depends on your taxable income and filing status.

      Receiving Overtime Payment in Ohio

      How is overtime paid in Ohio?

      Ohio labor laws explicitly state that salaried employees can receive their compensation, may it be regular wage or overtime pay, in cash or checks. However, employers may pay through direct deposits or payroll cards.

      When do I receive my overtime paycheck in Ohio?

      In Ohio, overtime wages should be included in the paycheck for the pay period in which overtime hours were worked. Employers in the state are required to pay their employees at least twice a month. Hence, salaries must be paid on or before the 15th day of each month for work done in the first half of the month and on the 1st day of each month for work done in the second half of the previous month.

      Violations of Overtime Law in Ohio

      What if my employer refuses to pay me overtime in Ohio?

      If an employer refuses to pay overtime in Ohio, they are liable to pay the affected employee for the full amount of the overtime wage rate. Employees must have a record of the following to support their claim:

      • Written communication with the employer regarding their refusal to pay.
      • Paycheck or pay stubs.
      • Copy of the employment contract that details salary or hourly wage.
      • Personal records of the hours worked.

      Under Ohio law, employees have a two-year statute of limitations on filing a wage complaint for unpaid overtime. However, there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations. It can be extended if:

      • Defendant (Accused) is Out of State: If the employee has left Ohio during the two years, the statute of limitations can be delayed until they return. Their absences are not considered in those two years.
      • Mental Disability: If the employee is not deemed to be mentally competent due to mental illness, the statute of limitations can be extended until the matter is resolved.
      • Underage: If the employee is under 18, the statute of limitations only begins once they have turned 18.

      What is the penalty for failing to pay overtime in Ohio?

      Employers who fail to pay overtime as mandated by Ohio labor laws may be subject to penalties, fines, and other legal consequences depending on the severity and frequency of the violation.

      How can I file a wage claim for overtime in Ohio?

      If the issues remain unresolved, employees in Ohio can file a wage claim with the Ohio Department of Commerce – Division of Industrial Compliance or the Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor (DOL). These departments have procedures for investigating and resolving wage disputes.

      Employees may also consider filing a lawsuit against their employer for unpaid wages, penalties, and compensation for legal costs.

      Can employers retaliate against employees for making a wage claim in Ohio?

      No, employers in Ohio cannot retaliate against employees for making a wage claim. Retaliation for exercising employee rights under wage and hour laws, including filing a complaint for unpaid overtime, is illegal.

      Employees who believe they have faced retaliation can report to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or seek legal action.

      Learn more about Ohio Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

      Important Cautionary Note

      This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.