Salaried employees are individuals who receive a predetermined fixed amount of compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or less frequently.
There are specific laws and regulations in place in Ohio that govern the rights and responsibilities of salaried employees and their employers. The purpose of this article is to offer an overview of the relevant laws concerning such employees. It will encompass various topics, including payment, break and leave entitlements, as well as the differentiation between exempt and non-exempt employees.
This article covers:
- Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Ohio
- Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime Pay in Ohio
- Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Ohio Salaried Employees
- Time Tracking of Salaried Employees Hours in Ohio
- Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Ohio
- Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Ohio
- Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Ohio
- Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in Ohio
- Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Ohio
Ohio employers must make payments to their employees at least two times every month as mandated by the Ohio Revised Code § 4113.15.
According to this requirement, Ohio employers need to compensate their employees for work performed during the initial 15 days of the preceding month on or before the first day of the present calendar month.
Furthermore, payments for work accomplished from the 16th day until the last day of the previous month must be disbursed on or before the 15th day of the current calendar month.
Nevertheless, employers have the option to pay wages on a daily or weekly basis if they opt to do so.
Being salaried doesn’t automatically exclude an employee from overtime entitlement in Ohio. The exemption status depends on factors such as job duties, salary amount, and job role.
Employees in executive, administrative, professional, or outside sales positions may be considered exempt, provided they meet specific tests related to their salary basis and job duties.
There are various conditions for each exemption category and job titles alone don’t determine exemption status. If an employer fails to meet any part of the salary basis or duties test, the employee may be entitled to overtime pay.
The outside sales exemption doesn’t require the salary basis test, and certain computer programming and engineering employees may also be exempt, depending on their specific work circumstances.
To ascertain exemption status or overtime entitlement, it is advised to consult an employment lawyer.
To be exempt from overtime in Ohio, various requirements should be met that are beyond just being a salaried employee.
Federal law explicitly outlines these exceptions, making it easy to ascertain if the employer is exempt from paying overtime rates. While some states may mandate overtime pay where federal law does not, Ohio’s law aligns with federal regulations both in exemptions and the calculation of overtime pay.
As per the Ohio Senate’s recently approved bill 47, starting from July 6, 2022, exempted groups include:
- Employees of businesses with yearly gross sales below $150,000
- Agricultural workers
- Casual babysitters
- Live-in caretakers
- Recreational camp staff
- Public employees
- Administrative, professional, or executive employees
Learn more in detail about Ohio Overtime Laws.
Salaried employees receive a consistent salary irrespective of the number of hours worked, eliminating the need for them to track work hours and enabling them to concentrate on completing tasks within reasonable timeframes. However, maintaining records and timesheets can be beneficial in situations such as unexpected absences, vacations, holidays, and sick days.
Furthermore, it can be important to monitor payroll schedules and comply with overtime hours (if applicable according to company policies). Although not mandatory, these records provide valuable information for salaried workers regarding monitoring time off and compensation.
Explore further information on time tracking for salaried and hourly employees in the US.
If an employer in Ohio fails to pay wages within 30 days of the scheduled payday, they may face penalties. The employer could be liable to pay the employee either $200 or 6% of the unpaid amount, whichever is higher. Moreover, successful wage claimants have the right to seek reimbursement for reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in pursuing the claim.
Further, there is a common misconception that being a salaried employee means you are not entitled to overtime pay, leading some employers to exploit this to cut payroll costs. However, being salaried does not automatically exempt an employee from overtime. Exemption status is determined by job duties defined by law, not job titles alone.
Misclassification as exempt can result in employees being unfairly denied overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week, potentially leading to overtime or minimum wage claims.
Salaried employees in Ohio have access to various types of leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, they can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical emergencies or caring for family members with serious health conditions. Jury duty leave is protected by law, and employers cannot punish employees for attending jury duty.
Emergency response leave is available to volunteer firefighters and EMS providers. Military leave allows uniformed services members to take unpaid leave without losing seniority credit, and family military leave permits up to 10 days of unpaid leave for family members of uniformed services members.
Employees can also take voting time leave and those who have experienced domestic violence can take time off work for court proceedings related to their case, while public employees can take bereavement leave, vacation and holiday leave.
In Ohio, employers are not legally obligated by federal or state regulations to provide lunch breaks or rest periods to their employees.
Nevertheless, if employers choose to offer such breaks, they must ensure that employees are relieved of all duties during their unpaid break. For breaks lasting less than 20 minutes, employees should be paid at their regular hourly rate.
However, the state does require employers to grant underage employees a minimum of 30 minutes of meal or rest time if they work continuously for 5 hours or more.
In Ohio, an employer is allowed to make deductions from an employee’s final paycheck only if they are legally obligated to do so, such as for taxes, or if the employee has explicitly consented to specific deductions. These deductions may involve charitable contributions, loan repayments, or contributions to a regular savings program, among others.
Federally, in general, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibits docking the salary of an exempt employee, as they are entitled to their full salary for any week in which they perform work. Making deductions from their salary could lead to the loss of their exempt status.
However, there are seven limited exceptions that allow deductions, including absences for personal reasons, sickness or disability, penalties for major safety rule violations, unpaid disciplinary suspensions, jury duty or military pay offset, first or last week of employment, and unpaid FMLA leave.
To claim an employee as exempt from overtime, they must be salaried, meaning they receive a consistent amount of pay without deductions. It is crucial for employers to understand these rules, as improper deductions may lead to the loss of exemption not only for the affected employee but also for others in the same job classification under the same management.
The Department of Labor provides a safe harbor for employers with clear policies against improper pay deductions, including a complaint mechanism and reimbursement for any improper deductions. It’s advisable for employers to consult with experienced employment counsel to ensure compliance with these rules and develop appropriate policies if considering salary deductions.
“At-will employment” is generally followed in Ohio, allowing both employers and employees to end the employment relationship without a specific reason.
Private employees are typically subject to this rule unless their contract specifies otherwise.
When an employee is terminated or decides to resign, the employer is responsible for giving them their final payment within 15 days or on the next scheduled payroll date, whichever is earlier.
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.