Wage & Hour Laws -- Employee
Whether you resign or are let go, one of the most immediate concerns you are likely to have as you leave an employer is when you will receive your final paycheck. In every state, there are specific rules governing the timelines an employer must keep to on final paychecks and the deductions they might be allowed to make.
In Ohio, whether you work in Cleveland or Cincinnati, Dayton or Columbus, an employer should be aware of their legal obligations, and should be prepared to pay final paychecks in accordance with them. Leaving a job can often be a particularly stressful time, so it is important to understand the legal situation involved.
In Ohio, there are no specific rules for employees who are either laid off or who quit their jobs. Instead, Ohio has strict rules on the regular payment of wages which apply also to an employee’s final paycheck.
These rules mean that a final paycheck in Ohio should always be paid on the first day of the month for work done during the first half of the prior month, and should be paid on the fifteenth day of the month for work completed during the second half of the prior month. In practice, this means that an employee should not have to wait more than 15 days for their final paycheck.
Under Ohio law, an employer can only make deductions from a final paycheck that they are legally required to do – for example, for taxation purposes – or for deductions that the employee has expressly agreed to. This could include charitable contributions, the repayment of a loan, or payments into a regular savings program.
While Ohio does not set a legal requirement that employers must give employees paid vacation days, many companies still offer vacation to their employees. In Ohio, any paid vacation days are considered as a “fringe benefit” for the employee. Consequently, any unused vacation days that the employee is owed at the time they leave the company should be paid in the final paycheck.
It is important to note that this topic depends on the specific terms of an individual’s employment contract, and it may be advisable to seek the support of a wage and hour attorney to help fully understand the situation.
If an employer fails to pay a final paycheck within the proper timeframe, or if there is a dispute about the amount an employee is owed, an employee might be able to file a claim with Ohio’s Department of Labor. Valid claims will be investigated and an employer could be ordered to pay the wages owed, as well as payment for damages.