New bill proposal seeks paid medical, maternity leave for Ohioans

First-ever paid family leave insurance program

CLEVELAND - Ohioans could soon get paid for maternity and medical leave under a new bill introduced in the Ohio House on Tuesday.

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. 

“Working families in Ohio shouldn’t have to choose between earning a paycheck and protecting their families,” said Rep. Christie Kuhns in a press release. “The birth of a child or a loved one falling ill should not throw the entire family into hardship if a parent needs to take time off of work to be a caretaker.” 

According to a 2015 report by Innovation Ohio, there are several benefits to paid paternal leave, including increased worker productivity and decreased infant mortality rates. 

The bill, introduced by Kuhns and Rep. Janine Boyd, was modeled after similar legislation was introduced in Colorado where employees paid premiums into a fund through a paycheck deduction. 

Right now, Dayton and Cincinnati are the only cities in Ohio with paid leave policies. 

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