It’s common for an employer to give its employees “rules” for the workplace. Common examples are “You’re not allowed to talk to one another about your salaries” or “You cannot badmouth the company on social media.” 

Are those rules real? Are they even legal? Some of the time, the answer is no! You have many rights as an employee under Ohio labor law, and you may not even know about them. 

Ohio Payment Laws & Worker Rights in 2021

When it comes to payment, your employer has to pay you at least twice a month, and your employer is not legally allowed to dock your pay for poor performance. Plus, if you are a non-exempt employee, you are entitled under law to receive time and a half if you work over 40 hours. 

Rules for Restrictions on Employee Speech

Can you talk about your pay with your coworkers? Unless you are a part of a union or other such collective agreement, you and your coworkers have the right to openly discuss your salaries and benefits. What if your employer is doing something you don’t like? Can you vent about it online? Yes! You can discuss your job and who you work with online without fear, so long as you are not posting to your employer’s own social media accounts. If your employer goes beyond that and does something illegal, you are protected under whistleblower statutes to go to the authorities. 

When Can Your Employer Terminate You?

You have a lot of rights as an Ohio worker, but you may be surprised by some of the things to which you are not entitled. Ohio is an at-will employment state, meaning unless you have a contract stating otherwise, your employer can terminate you at any time, without notice. If you are terminated wrongfully, meaning you were fired for an action or condition that is protected under state or federal law, you can file a suit against your employer. 

Rights You, as an Employee, Do Not Have

Another surprising fact is that you are not actually entitled to any vacation, sick days, or even breaks – if you are over 18. Employers have full discretion on how much PTO and break time they want to give their employees. Additionally, your employer’s HR department has the power to withhold information they have on you, contrary to the law in other states. Though you may want to see what your employer has written about you, you are not entitled to view your personnel file. 

Helping Employees Exercise Their Rights

Generally, employers tend to stick to the letter of the law when it comes to their employment practices. However, if you feel your employer has violated your rights as an employee, a complaint can be filed with the state at www.ohio.gov. An even better route is to find a trusted employment attorney. Agee Clymer’s attorneys are experienced in handling wrongful termination, harassment and discrimination cases. We are confident we can help you fight for your rights as an Ohio worker.

Lawyers in the Columbus offices of Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman welcome opportunities to help educate and provide consultation to workers in Ohio. Call us at (614) 221-3318 or (800) 678-3318 to inquire or request a free consultation. We also take appointments online.