When you hire employees in Ohio, it’s important to ensure that your employee handbook complies with Ohio state employment laws. While no company is required to have an employee handbook, it’s a good way to introduce workers to the company, set expectations for employees, describe company policies and procedures and mitigate legal liability. It acts as a helpful resource—but if your Ohio employee handbook fails to comply with federal and Ohio state employment laws, you could leave your business open to significant legal risk.

SixFifty’s Employment Docs platform empowers employers to make employment handbooks in a cost-effective manner. Here’s what you need to know about creating your own Ohio employee handbooks.

Required Ohio employee handbook policies

Ohio requires employers to implement and comply with nine state-specific policies:

  • Crime Victim Leave
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Meal and Rest Breaks (minors only)
  • Military Service Leave (50 Employees)
  • Pregnancy Disability Leave (4 Employees)
  • Volunteer Firefighter and EMT Leave
  • Voting and Election Official Leave
  • Whistleblower Policy
  • Witness Duty Leave

When you draft your required Ohio policies, it’s important that the text of the policy complies with the specific provisions in Ohio state employment law.

Optional Ohio employee handbook policies

In addition to the required Ohio state employment policies, employers are welcome to include as many optional handbook policies as they prefer. Depending on your company structure, type, employment type and industry, you may choose to include some or all of the following policies in your handbook:

  • Affinity Group Policy
  • Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy
  • Arbitration Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Background Check Policy
  • Business Expense Policy
  • Cell Phone Policy
  • COBRA Policy
  • Code of Conduct
  • Company Property Policy
  • Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
  • Desk Hoteling Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Dress Code Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
  • Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Employee Classification Policy
  • Employee Dating Policy
  • Employee References Policy
  • Employee Referral Policy
  • Employment of Relatives Policy
  • Exit Interview Policy
  • Gifts Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Holidays
  • Immigration Law Compliance
  • Job Duties Policy
  • Leave Policies, including: Paid Sick Leave; Bereavement Leave; Organ, Bone Marrow, and Blood Donor Leave; Domestic Violence Leave; School Activity Leave
  • Marijuana Policy
  • Off-Duty Use of Facilities
  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Performance Review Policy
  • Personnel Files Policy
  • Pets in the Workplace Policy
  • Progressive Discipline Policy
  • Public Relations Policy
  • Punctuality and Attendance Policy
  • Record Retention Policy
  • Remote Working Policy
  • Salary Pay Policy
  • Smoking Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Social Security Policy
  • Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
  • Technology Systems Policy
  • Temporary Relocation Policy
  • Termination of Employment Policy
  • Timekeeping Policy
  • Vacation/Paid Time Off
  • Video Conferencing Policy
  • Weapons in the Workplace Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy
  • Workplace Visitor Policy
  • Workweek and Work Schedules Policy

For example, if your company does not require workers to drive on company time, you probably wouldn’t need to include the Electronic Devices While Driving policy, and if they’re working remotely, a workplace visitor policy is likely unnecessary.

Required federal employee handbook policies

Every employee handbook, regardless of state, must include the following policies:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act and Accommodations Policy
  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Military Service Leave
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Religious Accommodations Policy

Because federal law supersedes state law, these policies remain the same in all 50 states. However, if your company does not meet the FMLA employee threshold, you do not have to include that policy.

How to create an Ohio employee handbook

Creating state-specific employee handbooks requires careful research and drafting. This can be a major project, even when you only intend to include required federal and state policies. It’s also risky: if your written policies accidentally violate federal or Ohio state employment laws, you could expose your company to legal liability.

Companies have a few options to ensure that their handbooks are legally compliant. First, you can hire an attorney or have your legal team draft the handbook for you. This is a safe way to ensure compliance, but if you’re hiring employees in multiple states, billable hours can multiply quicly. That can be a significant investment.

Some companies turn to online templates, or copy and paste from existing employee handbooks. That’s not advised: not only may copying and pasting be a copyright violation, but the handbooks you model yours on or the templates you use may not have all the required state-specific policies.

Because SixFifty understands how challenging it can be to quickly and cost-effectively create an Ohio employee handbook, we’ve created a better solution. Our employee handbook creator tool is designed to support employers through every stage of the employment life cycle, starting with offer letters all the way through separation and offboarding. Our platform makes it easier than ever to create top-tier employment documents, like Ohio employee handbooks, in a fraction of the time and cost you’d spend otherwise. Best of all, our legal team keeps a close eye on any changes to employment law nationwide. If there’s any new legislation, we’ll notify you so you can regenerate your handbooks.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!

Looking to create an employee handbook for a different state? View our interactive map for required employee handbook policies by state.