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What Are the Employment Laws on Sick Leave?


If you are an employee working in Ohio, understanding the sick leave laws that are relevant to your industry and position is important. At the law offices of Coffman Legal, LLC, our employment attorneys can guide you through laws on sick leave, and will represent you if your rights have been breached. Please call our skilled medical leave for a free consultation and more information.

Ohio Sick Leave Laws

Other than a right to maternity leave of an undefined length and a right to medical leave as a reasonable accommodation, the laws in the state of Ohio do not explicitly grant employees the right to take sick leave, either paid or unpaid. Instead, sick leave laws in the state are generally dictated by federal laws (discussed below), or the specific terms of an employer-employee contract, which can vary on a case-by-case basis.

The only express sick leave that Ohio law requires is referenced in the Ohio Military Family Leave Act. Per this act, an employer with 50 or more employees is required to provide leave for an employee–up to 10 days or 80 hours, whichever is less–who is the spouse or parent of a member of the military who is injured while serving on active duty, or who is called to active duty. More specifics about this law can be found in Chapter 5906 of Ohio Code.

Federal Sick Leave Laws

While Ohio may not have state laws that govern when an employee can take sick leave, with or without pay, the federal government has passed such legislation: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). As explained by the United States Department of Labor, under the FMLA, covered employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for specific medical and family-related medical reasons, including:

  • The birth of a child or care of a newborn;
  • Adoption or foster care-related services for a child;
  • To provide care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who is suffering from a serious health condition; and
  • Any serious health condition that inhibits the employee from performing essential job functions.

There are many nuances to the FMLA law regarding taking continuous or intermittent leave and being required to recertify the request for leave, among other things. If you are experiencing any difficulty with your employer regarding your request for FMLA leave, we would encourage you to speak with our Ohio FMLA attorneys.

My Rights to Sick Leave Have Been Violated – Now What?

If you believe that your rights to take unpaid sick leave have been breached (or paid leave, depending on the terms of your employment contract), you should contact qualified Ohio employment law attorneys for a free consultation immediately. Working quickly to gather evidence and file your complaint is essential; if you wait too long to take action, it is possible that your attempt may be barred.

Our Lawyers Will Fight for You

At the law office of Coffman Legal, LLC, our skilled Ohio employment law attorneys is passionate about helping employees who have had difficulty following their request for – or return from – medical leave. To schedule your free consultation with our experienced Ohio FMLA lawyers, please call our law firm today or tell us more about your case by sending us a message directly.


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