Skip to content

Ohio state holidays: Essential guide for employers

7 min read
Ohio state holidays

As an employer in Ohio, staying informed about state holidays and understanding their implications on your workforce is crucial for effective workforce management and compliance. However, it’s not enough to know when these Ohio state holidays fall. You also need to understand what rights your employees have in terms of time off and pay.

For example, is Independence Day recognized as a paid holiday for private sector employees? Is Juneteenth a paid holiday in Ohio? Do you have to provide time off for Thanksgiving or Christmas?

In this article, we will explore the list of Ohio state holidays in 2023 and explain their impact on public and private employees. We will also discuss the leave law in Ohio and highlight which requirements you need to be aware of when you design your employee leave policies.

free trial banner

Ohio state holidays

Let’s start by exploring all state holidays in Ohio in 2023.

Ohio doesn’t observe any state-specific holidays. Instead, OH follows the federally approved list of national holidays, in line with all other states in the nation.

State of Ohio holidays 2023:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1, observed January 2)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday (January 16)
  • Presidents’ Day (February 20)
  • Memorial Day (May 29)
  • Juneteenth (June 19)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (September 4)
  • Columbus Day (October 9)
  • Veterans’ Day (November 11, observed November 10)
  • Thanksgiving Day (November 23)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Ohio also observes Election Day as a state holiday. However, this date is not included in the list of Ohio state holidays in 2023. The next General Election Day will be on Tuesday, November 5, 2024.

The Ohio state calendar for 2023 also includes Juneteenth this year. In fact, as with all other US states including Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, and Florida, Juneteenth is now observed as a federal holiday. This is the most recent holiday that the federal government has nationalized in the US. The holiday came into force after President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act in 2021.

Holidays in Columbus Ohio

Although Columbus doesn’t observe any local authority holidays specific to the city, the state capital does celebrate various festivals and events that bring the community together to celebrate cultural diversity, arts, music, and food. These festivals often coincide with holidays or holiday weekends, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the city and providing entertainment and enjoyment for both residents and visitors.

The most notable holiday in Columbus is Columbus Day, which commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. On this day, there are many events and activities held in the city, such as the Columbus Day Parade, the Columbus Day Festival, and the Columbus Day Observance at the Ohio Statehouse. Essentially, is a time for Columbus to celebrate its rich history and culture. It is also a time for the city to reflect on its role in the world and reaffirm its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

State of Ohio employee holidays 2023

Let’s start with the public sector. With the exception of Election Day, state employees are typically entitled to time off for all state of Ohio holidays in 2023. This means that public employees are typically entitled to time off for New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

If a public organization requires its employees to work on any of the listed Ohio state holidays in 2023, they must pay them overtime. The overtime rate for state employees in Ohio is typically one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.

Private employers do not have to give their employees time off for any of the listed Ohio state holidays unless they close their business for the day. However, many private employers choose to give their employees time off for certain holidays. The amount of time off that private employers give their employees for state holidays varies from employer to employer. For example, most private employers in Ohio will give their employees time off for New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. However, not all businesses close for less significant holidays in OH such as Presidents’ Day, Juneteenth, and Columbus Day.

Do employers in Ohio have to pay holiday pay?

The rules for holiday pay are different for public and private employees.

Firstly, full-time permanent state employees are entitled to 8 hours of pay for each of the legal Ohio state holidays. Part-time state employees, in contrast, are entitled to 4 hours of pay for each day included in the Ohio state holiday calendar.

Moreover, state employees who work flexible hours shifts and are normally scheduled to work more than 8 hours on an Ohio state holiday must either work an alternative schedule or receive additional holiday pay for the hours they are typically scheduled to work. Even if a holiday falls on their day off, employees with schedules other than Monday through Friday are entitled to holiday pay.

To qualify for holiday pay, state employees must be on active status on the scheduled workday immediately preceding the holiday. If you require an employee eligible for overtime to work on a legal holiday, they have the option to choose between receiving one and a half times their regular rate for all hours worked in addition to their regular pay or receiving compensatory time off at time and a half.

Private employers do not have to give non-exempt employees holiday or premium pay on any of the dates included in the Ohio state holiday schedule. The only exception is if they close their business for the day, or the employee qualifies for overtime. However, private employers can implement their own leave policies or practices. For example, some employers offer a set number of days of paid leave, while other employers offer unpaid time off, unlimited PTO, personal time off, VTO, floating holidays, or flexible time off.

What is the leave law in Ohio?

There are actually a number of leave laws in Ohio that employers need to be aware of when they design their employee leave policies. Some of these are federal, and others are state laws.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Vacation leave

Private employers in Ohio do not have to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave to non-exempt employees. However, most employers in the private sector offer 10 paid days off after completing one year of work. Employers are generally free to design their own vacation accrual, vacation payout, and PTO carry over systems.

Sick leave

Federal law requires employers to provide eligible employees with 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave. However, as Ohio does not have a state-paid sick leave law, employers do not have to offer pay for this time off. Nonetheless, some cities and counties in Ohio, such as Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, do have paid sick leave ordinances. In the case of Columbus, for example, employers must provide employees with 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. In the case of Cincinnati, employers must provide employees with 5 days of paid sick leave per year.

Parental leave

In line with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected parental leave per year. This leave can be taken for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. However, it is important to note that this only applies to employers with 50 or more employees.

Bereavement leave

Employers do not have to provide any paid or unpaid bereavement leave. They also do not have to provide any time off to attend an immediate family member’s funeral.

Jury duty leave

Employers must give their employees job-protected leave, without pay, for jury duty or to report to jury selection.

Military leave

In line with the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), all employers with 50+ employees must give eligible employees a maximum of 10 days of family military leave each calendar year.

Eligible employees can take this leave to:

  • Attend the military education or training of a family member.
  • Handle matters related to the military deployment of a family member.
  • Care for a family member who is a veteran with a serious injury or illness.

Voting leave

Employers must provide their workers with a reasonable amount of time off for voting purposes. However, the law doesn’t define whether employers must pay for this time off.

Family and medical leave

Employers must comply with the Ohio Family and Medical Leave Act (OFMLA). This state law provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family and medical reasons.

These reasons include:

  • The birth or adoption of a child
  • Caring for a newborn or newly adopted child
  • Caring for a sick family member
  • The employee’s own serious health condition

Temporary disability leave

Finally, Ohio employers must comply with Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) requirements. TDI is a state program that provides eligible employees with partial wage replacement benefits for up to 40 weeks of leave.

To be eligible for this, employees must:

  • Be employed in Ohio
  • Have worked for an employer that pays TDI taxes for at least 20 weeks
  • Have earned at least $300 in wages in the base period
  • Be unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury


Streamline time off management with Factorial

Factorial is a game-changer for employers seeking to efficiently handle Ohio state holidays. Our feature-rich software provides a comprehensive and user-friendly platform that simplifies the entire process, ensuring employers can seamlessly manage employee time off while adhering to state-specific regulations.

For instance, one of the key benefits of Factorial is its ability to customize holiday policies to align with the 2023 state of Ohio payroll calendar. Employers can effortlessly configure the software to automatically recognize and apply the relevant state of Ohio holidays in 2023, eliminating the need for manual updates.

Moreover, Factorial’s intuitive interface empowers employees to submit all types of time off requests with ease through the platform. Employers receive these requests in real time and can promptly review, approve, or decline them through the leave management system. This transparent and streamlined approach minimizes the chances of overlapping leave requests and ensures adequate staffing during busy holiday periods.

Factorial’s reporting capabilities are another invaluable asset for managing Ohio state holidays. Employers can generate insightful reports on time-off trends, identifying patterns and peak periods of absenteeism. Armed with this data, businesses can proactively plan for future holiday seasons, allocate resources more effectively, and ensure smooth operations throughout the year.

Cat Symonds is a freelance writer, editor, and translator. Originally from Wales, she studied Spanish and French at the University of Swansea before moving to Barcelona where she lived and worked for 12 years. She has since relocated back to Wales where she continues to build her business, working with clients in Spain and the UK.  Cat is the founder of The Content CAT: Content And Translation, providing content development and translation services to her clients. She specializes in corporate blogs, articles of interest, ghostwriting, and translation (SP/FR/CA into EN), collaborating with a range of companies from a variety of business sectors. She also offers services to a number of NGOs including Oxfam Intermón, UNICEF, and Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership.  For more information or to contact Cat visit her website ( or send her a message through LinkedIn.

Related posts