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Payment of Wages: Ohio

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

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

Author: Vicki M. Lambert, The Payroll Advisor


  • The term wages is specifically defined in the Ohio wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
  • Ohio employers may pay employees in cash, or with checks drawn on banks convertible into cash on demand at full face value. Ohio law is silent as to whether private employers may pay employees by direct deposit or with payroll cards. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • Employees working in Ohio must be paid at least semimonthly, but daily or weekly pay periods are also permitted. Longer periods are permitted if customary in the employer's type of business. Semimonthly paydays must occur by the first or fifteenth of each month for the prior month's wages. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Pay Frequency.
  • Employers are permitted to make certain types of deductions from employee's pay, and are prohibited from making other types of deductions. Serious civil and criminal penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • An employer that fails to pay a terminated employee within the required time period is liable for penalties. Special rules apply to payment of accrued vacation time. See Termination Pay.
  • All employers in Ohio must pay all wages or personal earnings due to a deceased employee after the employee's death, provided certain requirements are met. Payment may only be made to specific individuals and in a certain order. See Deceased Employee Wages.
  • Wages that are unclaimed by an employee after one year are presumed abandoned. All employers that operate in Ohio or that hold funds due to Ohio residents, except nonprofit hospitals and political subdivisions, are required to file an Annual Report of Unclaimed Funds. Before filing a report, employers must attempt to notify affected employees according to specific due diligence procedures. Employers with more than 50 unclaimed accounts are encouraged to file reports electronically according to certain specifications, but paper forms are also accepted. Noncompliant employers are liable for both civil and criminal monetary penalties that accrue on a daily basis. See Unclaimed Wages.
  • Columbus has requirements pertaining to the payment of wages. See Local Requirements.