There is no Ohio law that requires private sector employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid sick leave, although many employers do provide it as an important employee benefit. However, it is important to remember that if employers promise to provide sick leave, they may have a legal obligation to grant it. Failure to pay out leave time in accordance with the handbook, policies, or an agreement can lead to a claim for breach of contract or a claim of failure to pay wages in accordance with Ohio’s wage payment statute (OH Rev. Code Sec. 4113.15 ). ).
Some courts have ruled, for example, that policies published in employee handbooks may constitute implied contracts that are binding and enforceable. Thus, employers should regularly review policy statements made in handbooks or other written materials to ensure that they accurately reflect current policies. If not, they should be changed, and employees should be notified of the changes.