Columbus-Yesterday, State Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D - Columbus) introduced SB 261 which establishes the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, that will help build stronger families, a more productive workforce and greater economic security.

"When we announced our intentions to introduce paid family leave earlier this year, people from across Ohio reached out to my office to let me know how much this program is needed," said Senator Tavares. "That's especially true for the 38 percent of single-parent households who are often headed by single mothers. Paid leave will help these families take care of their loved ones when they need it the most."

This legislation will 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, improves health outcomes and encourages workplace retention and satisfaction," said Senator Tavares. "Our state and our nation lag behind on family leave, and this bill will help us get up-to-speed and foster a healthier economy and more productive, family-friendly workforce."

State Reps. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) have announced companion legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives.
This legislation is in alignment with Senator Tavares' continued commitment to creating pro-family policies in Ohio, including SB 174- the 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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