Ohio Leave Laws

This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Ohio.

Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Ohio.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.

No federal or state laws require employers in Ohio to provide paid or unpaid vacation time.

Are Use It or Lose It Polices Legal in Ohio?

There is no specific mention of Use It or Lose It for vacation or sick time in Ohio. However, any policy that voids an employee’s earned paid time off should be clearly communicated and receive written approval from the employee.

Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

PTO Payout Laws in Ohio

Earned vacation time is considered a “deferred payment of a benefit” in Ohio state law, and thus the law requires that any unused, earned vacation time must be paid out upon job separation.

Employers can put a policy in place that voids this, however, such as a Use It or Lose It policy, as long as that policy is clearly communicated.

If an employer does not have a policy such as this, they must pay out any unused earned vacation pay.

Read More: PTO Payout Laws by State

Sick Leave in Ohio

Ohio does not require employers to provide paid or unpaid sick leave.

Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in Ohio must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.

Ohio State Holidays

The following official state holidays are observed in Ohio:

January 1New Year’s Day
3rd Monday in JanuaryMartin Luther King, Jr. Day
3rd Monday in FebruaryPresidents Day
Last Monday in MayMemorial Day
June 19Juneteenth
July 4Independence Day
1st Monday in SeptemberLabour Day
2nd Monday in OctoberColumbus Day
November 11Veterans Day
4th Thursday in NovemberThanksgiving
December 25Christmas
Any holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed on the previous Friday, while any holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed on the following Monday.

There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.

Maternity Leave in Ohio

Ohio does not have any laws regarding maternity leave.

The FMLA does apply, however, entitling new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.

Paternity Leave in Ohio

Paternity leave is also not covered by law in Ohio. However, fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.

Bereavement Leave in Ohio

Ohio employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid bereavement leave.

Other Leave Types

Jury Duty Leave

There is no requirement for paid jury duty leave in Ohio.

Employees must be allowed to serve jury duty without being punished, threatened or discharged, and employees must not be forced to use their own PTO or other earned time off to cover jury duty.

Voting Leave

Employees are allowed a “reasonable amount of time off” to vote.

Military Leave

The Ohio Military Family Leave law states that employers with 50+ employees must provide up to 10 days or 80 hours of family military leave per year, for employees with a child, spouse or legal dependent who is active duty for more than 30 days or who is injured during active duty.

Leave can be paid or unpaid, but is job-protected.

Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Ohio, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.

Anything not covered in Ohio state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.

However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.

For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.

Official Resources



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