Paid Family and Medical Leave

The policies in place to support working people who are welcoming a new child into their family, providing care for a sick or aging family member, or handling their own medical crisis are out of touch with the reality of families in the 21st century. It’s time we modernize our workplace policies to reflect the realities and needs that the families in our communities are facing – and that means access to paid family and medical leave for ALL working people. No one should have to choose between the income they need and the family they love.

Paid family and medical leave policies allow for working people to continue to earn their pay while they take time away from work to:

  • Address a serious health condition
  • Care for a family member, including chosen family, with a serious health condition; or
  • Care for a newborn, newly-adopted child, or newly placed foster child.


Add your voice to the conversation to help advance paid family and medical leave in Ohio.

By sharing your experience, you are helping to make our case stronger for paid family and medical leave. It’s your personal experiences that prove the urgency of this issue to our elected officials who have the power to make the change we need.

How would paid family and medical leave change your life?

I've needed the following types of leave:

Parental leavePersonal medical leaveCaregiving leave

How would paid family leave change your life?

Tell us your paid family leave story.

(Optional) Upload a photo of yourself



LC Johnson
Director of Leadership and Social Justice Programs for YWCA Columbus

“I started my dream job when I was three months pregnant. Once I started, I learned they did not have an established paid family and medical leave policy, but were open to allowing me to take as much unpaid leave as I wanted. I ended up taking eight weeks off because that was as much time as we could afford to live on a single paycheck. While I’m thankful to have had the time, it wasn’t enough. The health and sustainability of families isn’t something that should be left up to chance.”

Heather Whaling
Founder/president of Geben Communication, a PR firm based in Columbus

“After an emergency c-section, my son was moved to the NICU where he spent 13 days. For nearly two weeks, I remained singularly focused on doing whatever I could to get him healthy and home. I never had to wonder if I’d have a job to go back to, or if I’d get paid for this time away from the office. That’s because in 2009, I launched my own small business. I’m the boss. Of course I’d have a job to go back to and of course I’d get paid. But that’s a luxury most people in the U.S. don’t have. While more companies are beginning to offer their own versions of paid family leave, it’s not enough. A national public policy will accelerate progress. Access to paid family leave shouldn’t be luck of the draw. It should be a right. We need our legislators to act because paid family leave is good for families and good for business.” 


Jon Gromek
Lakewood, OH

I’m Jon, a father of two little ones – Leo and Sam. As a parent, I’ve experienced both the really good and really bad when it comes to paid family leave, and seen far too many of my family, friends, and neighbors struggle without it. With my first child, I was able to take three months paid leave, but when our baby Sam was born, I had recently switched jobs and didn’t have a single day of paid family leave (or even any paid time off!). I used my one, specially granted, vacation day to meet my newborn and then I had to go back to work. No one should have to choose between the income they need and the family they love.


The Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network: The Bi-Partisan Case for Paid Family and Medical Leave

Innovation Ohio Analysis: The Benefits of Paid Parental Leave

The Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network Briefing: ‘25 Years Later’

Policy Matters Ohio Blog Post: Paid family leave pays off, but too few Ohioans have access to it

National Partnership for Women & Families Fact Sheet: Paid Leave Means a Stronger Ohio

PL+US Resource Page: Fact sheets, messaging guidance, and reports on why paid leave matters from different perspectives (mothers, businesses, caregivers, etc). 

PL+US Employer Trends Report: Paid family and medical leave trends at the nation’s top employers and across the largest employment sectors.

Do you have a paid leave story?