Federal overtime wage law is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Ohio, overtime requirements are also covered by the Minimum Fair Wage Standards (MFWS). Under both laws, employees must receive one and one-half times their regular wage rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours during a workweek.
The Bureau of Wage and Hour Administration, part of the Ohio Department of Commerce (ODOC), enforces overtime standards throughout the state.

Overtime Pay

Employers in Ohio must pay their employees one and one-half times their regular wage rate for any time worked over 40 hours in a workweek.
Ohio’s overtime pay calculation method follows the provisions, methods and exceptions prescribed by the FLSA. You may contact AUI for more information on FLSA overtime provisions.

Regular Wage Rate

Employers must calculate their employees’ regular rate before they can determine applicable overtime wages. An employee’s regular rate can vary from week to week and may be different from the employee’s contractual rate of pay.
To calculate an employee’s regular rate for a specific work period, employers must divide the employee’s total compensation for a workweek by the number of hours the employee worked during that period.
An employee’s total compensation generally includes commissions and the reasonable costs of room and board (if customarily provided by the employer to the employees and not excluded by contract or collective bargaining agreement). Gratuities, unless specifically allowed by the ODOC, are not part of an employee’s total compensation.

Employees Exempt from Overtime Laws

Exempt employees

The following employees are generally exempt from overtime laws in Ohio:

  • Agricultural workers;
  • Any individual employed by the United States;
  • Any individual employed as a baby-sitter in the employer’s home, or a live-in companion to a sick, convalescing, or elderly person whose principal duties do not include housekeeping;
  • Any individual engaged in the delivery of newspapers to the consumer;
  • Any individual employed as an outside salesperson compensated by commissions or employed in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act;
  • Any individual who works or provides personal services of a charitable nature in a hospital or health institution for which compensation is not sought or contemplated;
  • A member of a police or fire protection agency or student employed on a part-time or seasonal basis by a political subdivision of the state;
  • Any individual employed by a camp or recreational area for children under 18 years of age and owned and operated by a nonprofit organization or group of organizations; and
  • Any individual employed directly by the Ohio House of Representatives or Senate.

Public employees

Public employees may elect to receive one and one-half times compensatory time off for any hours worked overtime.
In addition, county organizations can submit an alternative method for calculating overtime wage payment to the ODOC for approval. If the proposal is accepted, the county organization is exempt from overtime regulations to the degree that their new policy deviates from Ohio standards. County organizations must provide each employee a written notice of the alternative policy at least 10 days before it becomes effective.

Required Posting

Employers must post a summary of overtime laws in a place that is conspicuous and accessible to all employees. The poster can be accessed from the Ohio Department of Commerce website.


Employees can sue their employers to recover unpaid overtime wages. Employers that fail to pay overtime wages to their employees as prescribed by the MFWS may be ordered to pay back wages, attorney’s fees and other court costs.
Any agreement between an employer and its employees to have individuals work for less than the overtime wage rate is void and may not be used as a defense.

More Information

Contact AUI for more information on Ohio’s wage rate and payment requirements.