Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

Ohio’s laws do not specifically address when an employer must count an employee’s time as hours worked for purposes of its minimum wage and overtime requirements. Ohio does look for guidance from the regulations regarding what constitutes hours worked set forth under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.


An employer shall pay an employee for overtime at a wage rate of one and one-half times the employee’s wage rate for hours in excess of forty hours in one work week, except for employers grossing less than $150,000 per year.


Employers must pay employees overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a week. Overtime must be paid at 1.5 times an employee’s regular pay rate. ‘Pay rate’ means an employee’s annual base salary or other rates of pay by which the employee qualifies for exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act or the state minimum wage law, but does not include bonuses, stock options, incentives, deferred compensation, or other similar forms of compensation.


Ohio labor laws require employers to provide employees under the age of eighteen (18) a 30-minute uninterrupted break when working more than five (5) consecutive hours. Ohio does not require employers to provide breaks, including lunch breaks, for workers eighteen (18) years old or older except for nursing mother.


Breast Feeding Law 

A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3781.55 (2005).

Annual Leave

Annual Leave is given to the employee at the discretion of the employer. They are fringe benefits based on an agreement between the employer and employee.

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2018, Ohio’s hourly minimum wage is $8.30, and its hourly minimum cash wage for tipped employees is $4.15.

The minimum wage applies to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $305,000 per year, an increase from the $299,000 threshold in effect in 2017.


Employers with annual gross receipts of less than $305,000 after January 1, 2018, and employees younger than 16 are to be paid no less than the $7.25 federal hourly minimum wage.


The state’s hourly minimum wage is annually reviewed for inflation-related adjustments. Employers may pay workers younger than 16 the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25. Employers may pay a sub-minimum wage of $2.85 an hour to certain agricultural employees. Employers also may pay less than the minimum wage to physically or mentally disabled employees, if issued a license by the Wage and Hour Bureau.

Tips & Gratuities

Effective January 1, 2018, the state’s hourly minimum wage rate for tipped employees is $4.15. Employers may pay tipped employees half of the state minimum wage rate if tips combined with wages are equal to or greater than the minimum wage rate for all hours worked.

Meal Breaks

In addition, employees must work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

There are no general provisions regarding meal and rest breaks. Minors younger than age 18 must have at least one 30-minute break for every five consecutive hours of work. Break periods do not need to be included in calculation of the minor’s work hours.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Domestic Violence Victim Leave
No employer of a victim shall discharge, discipline, or otherwise retaliate against the victim, a member of the victim’s family, or a victim’s representative for participating, at the prosecutor’s request, in preparation for a criminal or delinquency proceeding or for attendance, pursuant to a subpoena, at a criminal or delinquency proceeding if the attendance is reasonably necessary to protect the interests of the victim. This section generally does not require an employer to pay an employee for time lost as a result of attendance at a criminal or delinquency proceeding. An employer who knowingly violates this section is in contempt of court.
Voting Leave
Employers may not discharge, or threaten to discharge or inflict any injury, harm or loss on, an employee for taking a reasonable amount of time to vote on election day.
Jury Duty Leave
No employer shall discharge or terminate from employment, threaten to discharge or terminate from employment, or otherwise punish or penalize any employee because of time lost from regular employment as a result of the employee’s attendance at any proceeding pursuant to a subpoena. This generally does not require and shall not be construed to require an employer to pay an employee for time lost as a result of attendance at any proceeding. However, if an employee is subpoenaed to appear at a proceeding under either chapter and the proceeding pertains to an offense against the employer or an offense involving the employee during the course of the employee’s employment, the employer shall not decrease or withhold the employee’s pay for any time lost as a result of compliance with the subpoena. Any employer who knowingly violates this section is in contempt of court.
Military Leave
In addition to USERRA, Ohio has laws providing protections for military service members as follows:
      • Reinstatement and employment rights for employees who are absent from work due to service in the U.S. uniformed services or Ohio organized militia; or
      • Nondiscrimination requirements applicable to employers with four or more employees; or
      • Continuation of health benefits for reservists, including National Guard members, called to active duty.
Military Family Leave
Employers with 50 or more employees must provide eligible employees with unpaid military family leave. To be eligible, an employee must:
        • Be the spouse, parent, legal guardian or former legal guardian of a person who is a member of the uniformed services and is (1) called into active duty for a period longer than 30 days, or (2) injured wounded or hospitalized while serving on active duty; and
        • Have been employed by the same employer for at least 12 consecutive months, and must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the leave.
Once per the calendar year, eligible employees may take up to 10 days or 80 hours, whichever is less, of military family leave. Employees must use up all other types of available leave, except sick leave or disability leave, before taking military family leave. Job protections apply to employees taking leave. Advance notice requirements apply, except when the family member’s injury, wound or hospitalization is critical or life-threatening.
Donor Leave
Full-time state employees are allowed 240 hours of paid leave for the donation of a kidney or portion of their liver. (§124.139).

Last updated on: February 7th, 2019