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Ohio Vacation

In Ohio, is an employer required to pay workers for accrued vacation upon termination?  If not, how can an employer change the company policy on vacation pay?

No Ohio laws require employers to pay workers for accrued vacation when a worker is terminated.  Sometimes, however, the law is not entirely clear on whether accrued vacation pay is required or not.

At present, accrued vacation pay is a hot topic within the state of Maryland.  According to the Maryland Department of Labor website, accrued vacation pay is not considered to be wages, and the department does not enforce its payment. 

In August 2007, a Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruling, Catapult Technology, LTD v. Wolfe, maintained that accrued vacation is covered by the Maryland minimum wage law and has to be paid. 

Generally speaking, if a company has paid other workers for accrued vacation time in the past, then they must continue to do so under similar circumstances.  If the policy is selectively applied, it leaves the employer open to various charges of discrimination based on national origin, religion, disability, sex, age, color, or race.

Company’s can change the vacation payout policy in the various states where it is not required by law.  If a company wants to do this, they should send out a memo in advance stating that after a certain date, workers will no longer be paid for accrued vacation time upon termination.  Under ideal conditions, employees should sign and date the memo in order to prove that they each received it.  Once a new policy has been put into place, it should be applied uniformly.

There are some companies that have employees in several different states that pay accrued vacation for all terminated employees.  The general thinking behind this is that an employee of XYZ Company in Indiana should receive the identical benefits as an employee of XYZ Company in Louisiana.

Still other companies follow state laws, paying accrued vacation in some states, but denying it to terminated employees in other states.

In some companies, employers will pay accrued vacation only if employees are laid off or voluntarily leave the company providing at least two weeks notice.  This, of course, encourages workers to give a proper notice upon leaving a company. JH

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 at 3:09 pm and is filed under
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10 Responses to “Ohio Vacation”

  1. Sandra Says:

    1. If a company changes CEO’s and vaction time is still present from the previous year under the previous CEO…is the company obligated to pay/roll over the owed vacation time?

    2. If a previous bookkeeper or CEO of a company make errors on a bookkeeping system that is hearsay and an employee has checkstubs showing owed vacation…is the company obligated to pay/rollover that vacation time?

    3. If a company changes thier “name” and same employees are present does this affect vacation time?

    Please reply ASAP. Thanks for your help.

  2. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Sandra!
    There is no law in Ohio that an employer must provide vacation pay. If the employer does choose to offer vacation, the rules are determined by company policy, not state law.
    1) There is no Ohio law that requires an employer to roll over or pay out vacation from previous years.
    The company (CEO) can change the vacation policy at any time. Usually, this change should be in writing, especially if there was a written vacation policy in the past.
    2) If an employer has promised in writing to pay vacation time, and the policy has not changed, but there is a bookkeeping error, then yes, the employer can be expected to correct that error.
    3) That depends. Sometimes the company genuinely changes its name, perhaps from Bell South to AT&T. However, at other times, a new company is created or a new employer purchases the company even though it operates with the same employees in the same location. The new company is not obligated to follow the old company’s rules regarding vacation.
    If the Ohio employer has a written vacation policy in place, the employee may be able to take the employer to small claims court to collect. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  3. deemeta Says:

    can employer make you take your earned vacation when he wants?

  4. Caitlin Says:

    Hi deemeta! Yes. The employer can dictate when an employees takes vacation, in any state or industry. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  5. elizabeth Says:

    I have accrued PTO (paid time off) days my company did not allow me to take and then they laid me off. In Ohio do I have a right to be paid out for those PTO days? I was a salaried employee so I never received over time pay, if that makes any difference.

  6. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Elizabeth! No, in Ohio there is no requirement that a company pay workers for unused PTO. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  7. Bev Says:

    Man I wish I was on vacation. After a few nice days it is supposed to snow again!!! Arrgghhh, when will it end :(

  8. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Bev! We just got back from two weeks in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and want to go again! Cheers!~ caitlin

  9. Shayari Says:

    I can guess the hard work it must have been needed to research for this post.All what i can say is just keep providing such post we all love it.And just to bring something to your notice,I have seen several blog providng your blog as source for this information.

  10. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Shayrai! Yes, we are proud to be the foremost source of info for HR pros on the Internet. HTH, and thanks for reading!~ Caitlin

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