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Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct: Ohio

Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Emily C. Fiftal, Frantz Ward LLP


  • Handbooks in Ohio should contain an at-will disclaimer to avoid claims that the handbook constitutes a contract. See At-Will Nature of Employment.
  • In addition to the classes protected under federal discrimination law, Ohio includes military status and ancestry. See Protected Classes.
  • Ohio does not have a general regulatory scheme that governs drug and alcohol testing by private employers, but eligible employers can receive a workers' compensation premium discount for implementing drug and alcohol policies and prevention measures. See Drug and Alcohol Testing.
  • Ohio law permits employers to prohibit firearms and other weapons at the workplace. See Weapons.
  • Ohio law mandates that employees receive a reasonable amount of leave for childbirth, even if the employee is not yet eligible for FMLA leave. See Pregnancy Leave.
  • In Ohio, employees are entitled to jury duty leave and, in certain circumstances, leave to serve as a witness. See Jury Duty Leave and Witness Leave.
  • Employees in Ohio may take time off to vote and to serve as an election official, and they are protected from certain political influences by employers. See Voting Leave and Political Activities by Employees.
  • In Ohio, all facilities must be smoke-free, and smoking must be limited to designated areas outdoors that meet the requirements of Ohio's Smoke Free Workplace Law. See Smoking.
  • It is important for employers in Ohio to promulgate clear policies specifying that work computers and systems may be monitored and that employees who use them do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. See Privacy.