Ohio Department of Labor Laws

By Will Gish
ohio flagge symbol image by Marty Kropp from Fotolia.com

The Ohio Bureau of Labor & Worker Safety is a division of the state's Department of Commerce. Three categories of labor laws are listed on the Bureau's official website. Those laws cover prevailing wage, minimum wage and overtime, and the employment of minors. The site also provides resources such as information about federal labor laws and instructions for filing work-related complaints. Laws are designed to protect both employers and employees and to provide transparency.

Prevailing Wage

Prevailing wage is a wage paid to employees under government contract. According to the online resource U.S. Legal, prevailing wage laws prohibit nonunion contractors from submitting bids at a much lower cost than union contractors by undercutting how much employees will be paid. As per Ohio Bureau of Labor laws, the Director of the Ohio Department of Commerce determines prevailing wage for each type of work contracted by the government, such as construction or electrical work. Employers submitting bids for Ohio state government contracts must adhere to prevailing wage laws.

Minimum and Overtime Wage

As per Ohio Bureau of Labor & Worker Safety law, state minimum wage in 2010 is $7.30 per hour for nontipped employees and $3.65 per hour for tipped employees. In 2011, minimum wage changes to $7.40 per hour for nontipped employees and $3.70 per hour for tipped employees. All employers with an operational budget of more than $150,000 are required to pay employees a minimum overtime wage of one-and-a-half times the hourly rate. All hours in excess of 40 worked each week constitute overtime. The Ohio Bureau of Labor awards special licenses to businesses that wish to employ handicapped individuals whose ability to perform certain work functions is impaired. These licenses permit employers to pay these handicapped employees less than the state minimum wage.

Employment of Minors

The Ohio Bureau of Labor & Work Safety doubly defines the term minor as an individual who is under 18 years of age, and one who is between the ages of 14 and 17. All minors in the state of Ohio must have a work permit to be legally employed. Minors age 14 and 15 are forbidden to work before 7:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. during school holidays, and to work more than three hours on a school day and more than 18 hours during a school week. Minors 16 and 17 may not work later than 11:00 p.m. on a night preceding a school day or before 7:00 a.m. on a school day. Ohio labor laws do not permit children under 16 to work construction, transportation, public utility or cooking jobs. Minors under 18 are prohibited from work in slaughterhouses and coal mines, and from occupations involving chemicals, explosives and power tools.