What You Need to Know About Paternity Leave in Ohio
Ohio offers specific parental leave options and benefits. Here’s everything you need to know about Ohio’s paternity leave regulations.
Paternity leave is when a father can take time off work to care for a new baby. Ohio offers parental leave and benefits for eligible employees.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal policy providing eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. The Act helps men and women strike a balance between work and family responsibilities.
As of September 30, 2021, Ohio supplements the FMLA with administrative code § 124.136, which offers parental leave benefits.
Upon returning from FMLA leave:
- Employers must provide employees with the same job they held before taking FMLA leave; or
- Employers must grant their employees a comparable job with equivalent pay and benefits.
- Employers cannot fire or discriminate against an employee for taking FMLA leave.
The following businesses are covered by the FMLA:
- Public agencies
- Local education agencies
- Private sector jobs employing 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks of the current or preceding calendar year
Related: Ohio Labor Laws for Remote Workers
An employer is eligible for unpaid paternity leave in the following scenarios:
- To care for a newborn child
- To care for a newly adopted or fostered child
An employee is eligible for FMLA benefits if the employee has:
- Worked for their employer for at least 12 months
- Worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months
- Worked at a location where the company employs at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
Ohio Parental Leave and Benefits
Employees who use parental leave may still take leave under the FMLA. However, an employee cannot take parental leave if they have already exhausted their available leave under the FMLA.
An employee qualifies for leave and benefits if the employee is one of the following:
- The parent, as listed on the birth certificate, of a newly born child.
- The parent, as listed on the fetal death certificate, of a stillborn child.
- The legal guardian of a newly adopted child. The adopted child and legal guardian must live in the same household.
Parental Leave Conditions
Below are the following conditions for parental leave:
1. Parental leave should amount to a maximum of six consecutive weeks including:
a. Four weeks or 160 hours of paid leave for permanent full-time employees.
b. A prorated number of hours of paid leave for permanent part-time employees.
2. An employee should take parental leave within one year of their child’s birth, delivery of their stillborn child, or placement of their child for adoption.
3. All employees who receive parental leave must serve a 14-day waiting period during which they should not receive paid leave. The waiting period starts on the day parental leave begins.
a. Employees may opt for working during the 14-day waiting period.
b. Employees may allocate their available sick, personal, or vacation leave so they can receive payment during the 14-day waiting period.
4. All employees who are granted parental leave are:
a. Eligible to receive employer-paid benefits and accrue other forms of paid leave
b. Ineligible to receive overtime and holiday pay
Parental Leave Benefits
If an employee is granted parental leave, they are entitled to the following benefits:
1. An employee may request five thousand dollars to cover adoption expenses instead of receiving parental paid leave benefits.
The employee may request such payment once the adopted child is placed in their home or when the adoption is approved.
2. During the four weeks of paid leave, employees should receive 70% of their base rate of pay.