State Rep. Christie Kuhns (D-Cincinnati) yesterday sat down with WKRC-TV to discuss a recently introduced proposal to create Ohio’s first-ever paid family and medical leave insurance program. The bill, a joint sponsor with Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights), would allow all Ohio workers to continue earning a portion of their pay during a family medical emergency or the birth or adoption of a new baby.
The Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program would allow workers with qualifying life events the ability to continue earning a portion of their salary when taking leave from work for a serious health condition, a family member with a serious health condition or to care for a the birth or adoption of a new child. The bill is modeled after legislation that was introduced in Colorado, which requires employees to pay premiums into a fund through a paycheck deduction to be administered by their employer. Employees are allowed 12 weeks of paid leave that they may take during the course of a year.
The United States is the only developed country in the world that does not require some form of guaranteed, legally protected paid parental leave. Other states that have adopted paid family leave laws are California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington. In Ohio, Dayton and Cincinnati have both passed paid leave policies that cover city workers.