Columbus—Today, state Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) announced that she will soon introduce legislation establishing the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, to help build stronger families, a more productive workforce and greater economic security.

“In Ohio, 38% of children live in a single-parent household, often headed by single mothers,” said Senator Tavares. “Paid family and medical leave will help these families take care of their loved ones when they need it the most.”

The proposed legislation would allow workers to continue earning a percentage of their paycheck while they take time off to care for a newborn, a newly-adopted or newly-placed foster child, a family member with a serious illness or to address their own medical condition. Workers would be provided up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave during a 12-month period at partial pay. To be eligible, employees must have worked at least 680 hours and contributed to premiums to the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund for at least one year.

“Family leave supports family stability, strengthens child-and-parent bonds and improves health outcomes,” said Senator Tavares. This bill will contribute to a healthier economy and a more productive, family-friendly workforce.”

Funding for the program is provided entirely by the employee through premiums deducted from their wages. Businesses would bear no financial costs.

State Reps. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) have announced companion legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives.

According to a survey conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families, nearly two-thirds of Ohio voters, including both lower-wage and higher-wage workers, reported that they would be willing to contribute towards a paid leave fund.

This legislation is in alignment with Senator Tavares’ continued commitment to creating pro-family policies in Ohio, including SB 174- Fair and Acceptable Income Required Act, and the Ohio Family Stability Commission that was created through SB 30 from the 131st General Assembly.

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