America remains one of the few countries in the world without mandatory paid leave for new parents. The Family and Medical Leave Act was signed into law 20 years ago requiring larger employers and public agencies to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave — as well as continuation of health benefits — for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for an opposite-sex spouse, a parent or a child who has fallen ill. In Ohio, women make up nearly half of the state’s labor force. Paid parental leave policies are a critical way to keep our workforce and local economy strong. We know that paid parental leave:
Strengthens Women and Families
Reduces Gender and Economic Disparities
Improves Critical Health Outcomes
Promotes Positive Impacts on the Local Economy
Produces a Stronger, More Productive Workforce
Today is Women’s Equality Day and I am proud to announce that we are instituting a new parental leave policy that provides an opportunity for City of Dayton employees to take up to a maximum of six weeks of paid leave to provide parental care immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. The policy will apply to all permanent full-time or permanent part-time employees who work thirty-five or more hours per week.
Not only is this the right thing to do for our employees and their families, it will also make us more competitive in the market for talented employees, and retain more employees. Family friendly policies like paid parental leave will make Ohio and America a better place to work and raise a family. I hope other governments and employers will follow our lead.
Friends of Nan Whaley, Mark Owens, Treasurer, 443 E. 6th Street, Dayton, OH 45402