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As a minor, do I have the right to work if I want a job?


No, Ohio requires all minors to obtain a work permit, which must be signed by your parent or guardian. Having a strong desire to work is admirable and you are encouraged to explore your social networks for options.




Can I start my own business, even if I’m a minor?


Yes. There is no minimum age to file an LLC and start a business in Ohio. The Secretary of State welcomes entrepreneurs and you can learn more at http://business.ohio.gov/starting




Do I get overtime pay if I worked more hours than I was scheduled to work?


No. Ohio has specific rules regarding what companies are required to pay overtime to employees. Also, companies and organizations have pay period set ups. There could also be vacation pay policies that impact overtime pay. You will want to see your employee handbook to ensure that you understand your pay and anything that could potentially impact it.




As a tipped employee, can my employer make me pay a portion of my tips to “the house”?


Unless your employer informed you at your hire that a portion of your tips would be pooled, this is an illegal practice known as tip skimming. If you don't think that a conversation with your employer will be helpful, you may want to contact the Attorney General’s office for further guidance on how to handle this matter.




Can I opt out of a criminal background check?


Yes, but you may not receive a call back for an interview or job offer. Employers who do criminal background checks typically do these for applicants that they are interested in hiring. If you go into interview prepared, you can prepare an interviewer for what they may find on a background check.




My criminal past is behind me; do I still have to report it on my application?


If a job application specifically asks you about criminal history or convictions, then yes still need to report this information.




Do I have to pay for the criminal background check and/or employee screening?


Possibly. Some employers require that you pay for the check while others may cover the expense. There are others who have you pay it upfront and reimburse you the cost upon hire. This is something that you will want to ask during your interview.




Is my juvenile justice record included in a consumer or criminal background check?


No. Information from your involvement with the system as a minor should not be included. If you find that this information is being included in a company’s report, you are encouraged to follow the process for filing a dispute and having the information removed.




Can I see what information is in a consumer or criminal background check requested that has been completed on me?


Yes. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) affords you the right to a copy of any background or consumer check completed on your behalf. It also states that if an employer is going to complete a consumer/background check on you, they must inform you and tell you the scope of the check (i.e., what it’s for, how far back it will go, if it’s criminal or consumer, etc.).




Is it okay to write “gift” on the bill of sale for something that I am selling?


No. It is never to okay for you or someone that you are buying an item from to write “gift” or “$0” on the bill of sale or ownership title. This is often done to avoid payment of taxes that are due. You will want to make sure that all documents are completed correctly so that when you must pay taxes, you have been properly compensated.





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Can I open a bank account on my own, without my parent?


Yes, this is possible. It is recommended that if you are a minor, you should call the bank beforehand and verify their willingness to open an account for you without a parent or guardian co-signer. While Ohio law does allow for minors to open bank accounts, each bank has their own guidelines and policies. You will also want to find out what documents you’ll need.




What right do I have to dispute information in banking systems, like ChexSystems and Early Warning System?


The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that you have a right to obtain a copy of the report and file a dispute for any incorrect information that you find. If you’ve been told that you cannot open an account based on information from one of these systems and have not yet received a letter with information on how to contact the provider to make the request for your copy of the report, you should contact the bank where you applied.




I was just denied credit; can I see what is on my credit report?


Yes. You can expect to receive a letter within 30 days that states the following:

  • Why you were denied credit
  • What your credit score was at the time of your application for credit
  • The contact information for the credit bureau
You will want to use the credit bureau’s information to request a copy of your credit report. Your request must be made within 60 days of the date on the credit bureau’s letter.




Am I allowed to get a copy of my credit report on my own?


Yes. You have the right to obtain one free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus once a year. These free copies can be obtained by going to AnnualCreditReport.com.




How can I find out my credit score?


Typically, you pay a fee to the credit bureau that you are requesting your score from and they will provide you with your credit score.




Do I have to pay taxes?


If you work, you must pay taxes. If you are self-employed or are an independent contractor, it suggested that you pay your taxes on a quarterly basis to avoid having to pay a large tax bill at the beginning of the year.




I’m self-employed and expecting a refund; do I still have to pay taxes?


It is recommended that you still pay taxes throughout the year, even if you are expecting a tax refund. There are many factors that can affect whether you receive a refund or have to pay.




Do I have to pay taxes on things that I buy online?


Yes. When you buy items online and taxes are not charged, you are responsible for paying these taxes when you file your state income taxes.




What are my rights when it comes to debt collectors?


Debt collectors must tell you, in writing within five days, how much money you owe and who the money is owed to. You also have the right to ask the debt collector to send you proof of the reported debt. There are specific practices that debt collectors cannot do, and these include:

  • Using fake names or lying – this includes misrepresenting themselves as an attorney, government agency or representative from a bank or credit bureau, and the amount of the debt that is owed.
  • Making threats – this includes telling falsely representing that you’ve committed a crime.
  • Calling your phone before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM.
  • Speak to you using vulgar or offensive language.
  • Avoiding identifying themselves when they call you.
  • Telling other people about the money that you owe.
  • Publicly posting your name or information and the debt that you owe.




I’m being contacted about a debt that I don’t believe is mine. Can I dispute this debt?


Yes, you can dispute any debt that you do not believe that you owe. Although you can contact the debt collector via phone and file your dispute, it suggested that you file your dispute in writing.





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