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Johnson commends Summit County passage of paid parental leave program

Says state should follow county's lead in supporting Ohio families
October 17, 2016
Democratic Newsroom

State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) today applauded Summit County Council’s vote in support of legislation giving county employees six weeks paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Currently, county employees must exhaust all their sick and vacation benefits before tapping into the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows for up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave. The city of Dayton became the first Ohio city to pass a paid parental leave measure roughly one year ago, but with today’s vote Summit County becomes the first county in the state to offer paid parental leave to its employees.

“I am incredibly proud to serve in Summit County – the first county in Ohio to vote to implement paid parental leave,” said Johnson. “Allowing mothers and fathers to spend more time with their newborn children without worrying about falling behind financially will positively impact our families and communities. Providing paid parental leave is the responsible thing to do in a modern, industrialized nation, and it is also the right choice to remain competitive in attracting new workers. Seeing local communities step up to address this issue is incredibly encouraging and I look forward to continuing the push for paid family leave at the state level.

“I commend the leadership of Councilwoman Elizabeth Walters for sponsoring this important legislation and the entire Summit County Council for its support. I also appreciate Councilwoman Gloria Rodgers’ amendment to improve upon our county’s bereavement policy as well.”

Johnson is a co-sponsor of House Bill 511, state legislation introduced last spring to create a statewide paid parental leave insurance program.