Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Do you know? Ohio military family leave law takes effect July 2

Beginning this Friday, July 2, 2010, Ohio employers with 50 or more employees will be required to provide leave for employees who are a spouse or parent of a member of the military who is called to active duty or is injured or hospitalized while serving on active duty.

The law—Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5906—has the following provisions and limitations:

  • The employee eligible for leave must be a spouse, parent, or legal custodian of a person who is a member of the uniformed services and who is called into active duty, or who is injured, wounded, or hospitalized while serving on active duty.

  • Employees are only eligible for leave if they have been employed for at least 12 consecutive months and for at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding the leave.

  • Leave is limited to once per calendar year.

  • Employees are entitled to the lesser of 10 work days or 80 work hours.

  • It only covers full-time duty in the active military service for periods of longer than 30 days. It does cover training, or the period of time for which a person is absent from employment for an examination to determine fitness for military duty, unless it is contemporaneous with full-time military duty.

  • An employee must provide at least 14 days’ notice prior to taking leave, unless the leave is taken because an employee receives notice from a representative of the uniformed services that the injury, wound, or hospitalization is of a critical or life-threatening nature.

  • The dates on which an employee takes leave cannot occur more than two weeks prior to, or one week after, the deployment date of the employee’s spouse, child, or ward or former ward.

  • The employee cannot have any other leave available, except sick leave or disability leave.

  • Employers must continue to provide benefits to employees during the leave period. Employees remain responsible for their pro rata share of costs, if any.

  • Upon the completion of the leave, employers must restore the employee to the position the employee held prior to taking that leave or a position with equivalent seniority, benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

  • An employer may require an employee requesting to use leave to provide certification from the appropriate military authority.

  • Retaliation is prohibited.

  • Employers cannot require employees to waive their leave rights.

  • Employees can sue for injunctive relief and money damages to enforce their rights.

[Hat tip: @CCHWorkDay]

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or jth@kjk.com.