Ohio Families Deserve Paid Family Leave

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    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, sick loved one, or deal with personal illness.

    So many families struggle when they have to miss work due to illness, the demands of caring for family members or need time bonding with a newborn. Only 12 percent of workers and just 4 percent of low-wage workers have access to paid family leave benefits, too many Ohioans are forced to choose between caring for themselves, a newborn or ill family member or earning a paycheck.

    Two bills have introduced in the Ohio legislature to address this, H.B. 511 and S.B. 307. Both create an insurance program funded through payroll deductions that would allow workers to receive a portion of their salary up to 12 weeks under the above circumstances.

    Let your legislator know that you support this common sense proposal for Ohio's working families.

    It's time to offer paid family leave to Ohio workers.

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