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Advertising What are the requirements relating to advertising open positions? Except where based on a bona fide occupational qualification certified in advance by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, no employer or recruitment agency can express a preference, limitation, or specification based on race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry.

Background checks What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries?

(a) Criminal records and arrests Ohio has “ban the box” legislation for public employers. Ohio law mandates that schools, daycare centers and healthcare facilities, among others, conduct background checks for applicants. Generally, Ohio mirrors federal law for private employers.

(b) Medical history Ohio has no specific law limiting a private employer’s ability to make medical inquiries of its employees. Ohio law mirrors federal law.

(c) Drug screening Ohio has no specific law regulating drug and alcohol testing for private employers. Generally, Ohio law mirrors federal law.

(d) Credit checks Ohio has no specific law regulating credit checks or the use of credit reports in the employment context.

(e) Immigration status Ohio has no specific law governing immigration status. 

(f) Social media Ohio has no specific law governing social media passwords in the employment context.

Wage and hour

Pay What are the main sources of wage and hour laws in your state? Section 34a of Article II of the Ohio Constitution and Chapter 4111 of the Ohio Revised Code. Ohio law generally parallels the Fair Labor Standards Act.

What is the minimum hourly wage? The hourly minimum wage in 2016 is $8.10 for most Ohio employers. The minimum wage is indexed to inflation and adjusted annually.

What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages? Section 4113.15 of the Ohio Revised Code requires prompt payment of amounts earned by employees. Generally, discharged employees should receive their last check on the next applicable pay date. There is no requirement that employees be paid on their last working day. Other than mandatory taxes and withholdings, garnishments and court orders, employers may not make deductions from employee wages unless specifically authorized by the employee in writing.

Hours and overtime What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks? Ohio has no specific law mandating meal and rest breaks for adult employees. Minor employees working more than five consecutive hours must receive a 30-minute rest break (Ohio Revised Code § 4109.07(C)). 

What are the maximum hour rules? There are no maximum hour rules for adult employees in private sector employment. Chapter 4109 of the Ohio Revised Code governs the employment of minors and details specific work hour limitations for minor employees. The employer must keep detailed payroll records of minor employees which include: 

  • name, address, and occupation; 
  • number of hours worked each day of the week; 
  • the time work started and stopped; 
  • meal period start and stop time; 
  • any deductions made; and 
  • the amount of wages paid each pay period. 

Pay records for minors must be open for inspection and copying by the director of commerce and retained for two years.

How should overtime be calculated? Ohio law parallels federal law. An employer must pay overtime at the rate of one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular rate for all hours over 40 hours in a working week.

What exemptions are there from overtime?

  • Agricultural employees.
  • Employees of the US government.
  • Babysitters in the employer’s home.
  • Live-in companions to a sick, convalescing, or elderly person whose principal duties do not include housekeeping;
  • Individuals delivering newspapers to consumers.
  • Outside salespersons compensated by commissions or individuals employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional position as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Individuals working or providing services of a charitable nature in a hospital or health institution for which compensation is not sought or contemplated.
  • Fire or police protection agency members or students employed on a part-time or seasonal basis by a political subdivision of Ohio.
  • Employees of a camp or recreational area for children under 18 years old, which is owned and operated by a non-profit corporation or group of organizations deemed exempt by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Any individual employed by the state legislature.

Record keeping What payroll and payment records must be maintained?

For a period of not less than three years, employers must keep a record of: 

  • the name, address, and occupation of each employee; 
  • the rate of pay and amount paid each pay period; and
  • the hours worked each day and each working week, as well as any deductions made. 

These records must be open for inspection and copying by the director of commerce (Ohio Revised Code § 4111.08, see also Section 34a of Article II of the Ohio Constitution).

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