Ohio has laws in place to protect employees from being taken advantage of their employers, including laws that ensure employees are paid a fair wage on a regular basis. You should take a look at these laws if you think that your employer is engaging in unfair employment practices.

When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out?

The law requires that your employer pay you at least semimonthly. The same law applies to all employees, unless a longer pay period is customary in your profession. If your employer wants to pay you more often, such as weekly or even daily, then they can opt for that payment frequency.

What Happens If I Am Fired?

Ohio does not have a law that differentiates between when you must normally be given your paycheck and when your employer has to pay you after being fired or quitting. Thus, you are owed your last paycheck either on your next payday or 15 days after your final day of employment, whichever occurs first.

If your company offers paid vacation leave, then generally you are entitled to receive compensation for any unused vacation time that you have accrued when you leave the job. However, if your company has policies limiting how much unused paid time off you can accrue or for which you can be paid, then your paycheck must reflect those policies.

Can My Paycheck Be Garnished?

To recover money directly from your paycheck for a personal debt, the creditor trying to garnish your paycheck must go to court and get an order granting them permission to engage in garnishment. Then the creditor can have that amount taken directly from your wages. However, there are some types of debt where the creditor does not have to get the court’s express permission to garnish your paycheck. These debts are unpaid child support, back taxes, and defaulted student loans.

Your employer is only allowed to garnish your paycheck for very limited reasons.  They can automatically deduct any amounts that they are required to deduct by law, including state and federal taxes. An employer may also take out money from your wages to pay off a loan, donate to a charity of your choosing, or make a similar deduction for your benefit if you give them written permission to take the money.

Can I Recover a Withheld Paycheck?

Your employer does not have the right to withhold your paycheck from you under any circumstances. If you are having difficulties getting your money, you are entitled to sue your employer or file a claim for unpaid wages with the Bureau of Wage and Hour Administration, which is a part of the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Industrial Compliance.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

There is no law stopping an employer from asking an employee to cover the cost of uniforms, except where the cost of a uniform would render the employee’s earnings in a pay period to be less than minimum wage. Also, for some jobs, you might have to pass a medical exam or drug test, and you may have to pay for that cost as well.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

In the event that your employer is refusing to respect your right to a paycheck, an Ohio employment lawyer can help you get the money for which you have worked. Thus, you should not hesitate to contact an employment lawyer if you cannot reach an agreement with your employer.