Paid leave is a critical policy for women and their families. When women have access to paid leave, they are less likely to take a leave of absence from their job or leave the workforce entirely to address caregiving duties. In fact, studies show that access to paid leave promotes gender equity in the home and the workplace. And for new moms, having access to paid leave to recover during the first weeks after giving birth can lead to improved health outcomes.
Despite these benefits, the United States falls behind the rest of the world when it comes to paid leave. The U.S. is the only industrialized country in the world without some form of guaranteed paid leave. Because of that shortfall, only 15 percent of workers have access to paid family leave, and that drops to a mere four percent among low-wage workers.
In the absence of a national standard, state lawmakers are working to ensure that Ohioans have access to this important policy. State Representatives Kristin Boggs and Janine Boyd recently announced that they will be introducing legislation to establish a statewide paid leave program.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your state representative and urge them to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Ohio Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program to be introduced in the Ohio House next week.
Nearly everyone will need time off from work at some point throughout their life to care for a new child or aging or ill family member or address their own medical emergency. Paid leave means that workers can take that time they need away from work without risking their economic security.