Tell Kasich to Support Paid Parental Leave

"Paid parental leave should be a bonding time for the parent with the newborn. Telecommuting isn't even an option in many types of jobs. Even if it were possible, it might not be the best choice for the new family."
-Rev. Lynda Smith, Pastor, UU Fellowship of Athens, Ohio

The United States stands alone among industrialized countries in not offering workers paid family leave. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) only requires employers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new child.

In Ohio, Governor Kasich believes that instead of paid leave, “The one thing we need to do for working women is to give them the flexibility to be able to work at home online” because “they fall behind on the experience level” leading to lower pay.

That’s just not a solution for many of Ohio’s working mothers. From teachers to cashiers to surgeons, women in Ohio hold jobs as diverse as they are, and many are just not capable of being performed over a computer. We need your help in letting Governor Kasich hear that his remarks are at odds with the needs of Ohio’s families.

Help us call on Governor Kasich to establish a bi-partisan task force to evaluate paid parental leave options in Ohio.

Dear Governor Kasich,

Ohio families need the security of paid time off to care for a new child. For too many workers, the birth of a child creates a crisis that forces them to lose needed income or exit the workforce altogether. Low-income mothers and their families are especially vulnerable because they often lack the financial resources to take any unpaid time off at all. 

Reports from Innovation OhioPolicy Matters OhioCNNBusiness Insider and the New York Times, all of which agree that paid parental leave is good for mothers, families and businesses.

Among the benefits cited, paid leave:

  • Reduces infant mortality;
  • Increases the chances of newborns receiving wellness visits and vaccinations;
  • Increases the likelihood of the employee returning to work; this in turn helps mothers economically as their wages continue to grow at a faster rate after returning;
  • Improves the mental well-being of employees and reduces post-partum depression;
  • Significantly decreases the likelihood the employee will seek public assistance or nutritional programs such as food stamps.

As concerned Ohio citizens, we ask you to establish a bi-partisan task force to evaluate and examine paid parental leave policies for our state.

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