Proposed Sick Day Legislation Could Lead to Increased Costs For Ohio Businesses

January 8, 2008

Under current Ohio law, private sector employers are not required to provide paid sick leave for employees.  All that could change.

In early 2007, a union-led coalition of special interest groups began collecting signatures for the Healthy Families Act.  This initiative would require businesses with 25 or more Ohio employees to grant their employees a minimum of seven paid sick days per year.  Employees could use these sick days not only when they become ill, but also to care for a sick child, parent, or spouse.

On January 4, 2008, the Ohio Secretary of State announced that proponents of the Healthy Families Act had collected enough signatures to send the initiative to the General Assembly.  Under Ohio law, the Assembly has 120 days to consider the initiative.  If lawmakers do not pass the measure or fail to act during this period, proponents of the initiative will have an opportunity to gather more signatures and attempt to get the measure on the general election ballot in November.

Proponents of the Healthy Families Act have largely glossed over its immense costs to Ohio businesses.  As many as 2.2 million Ohio workers could be affected by the measure.  Business groups have also criticized the initiative as unnecessary government intrusion into the private sector.

If you require more information about the Healthy Families Act and its potential impact on Ohio employers, please contact any of the attorneys in the Labor and Employment Department at Frost Brown Todd LLC.

The text of the Healthy Families Act is available at http://tinyurl.com/ytfubd.

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