Recently, the Ohio Military Family Leave Act took effect. It requires all employers with 50 or more employees to provide unpaid military family leave, up to 10 days or 80 hours, whichever is less, to eligible employees when a family member is called to active duty for longer than 30 days or is injured, wounded or hospitalized while on active duty.
While the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) already provides similar leave rights, Ohio’s Military Family Leave Act’s provisions are different and go further. For example, the Ohio law applies if the employer has 50 or more employees, regardless of whether or not the employees are within a 75 mile radius of one another. Also unlike the FMLA, the Ohio law does not require that the family member have a “serious” injury. Additionally, the Ohio law allows eligible employees to take leave, with some restrictions, when a family member is called to active duty. The FMLA allows leave for certain activities that arise from a call to active duty or for issues that arise because of short notice deployment, but not simply for a call to active duty. These are just a few of the differences between the two laws.
It is likely that a situation may arise where an employee is not eligible under the FMLA, but is eligible under the Ohio law. To make sure they comply with both laws, Ohio business owners should become familiar with the differences between them and the requirements of each, and assess each leave request separately under both the FMLA and the Ohio law.
For assistance in making those assessments or for more information on the new Ohio Military Family Leave Act, please contact your Stark & Knoll attorney.