Putting Family First
City of Columbus Unveils Comprehensive Paid
Family Leave Policy
Wednesday, March 29, Columbus City Councilmember Elizabeth Brown along with the Chair of
the Columbus Women's Commission and First Lady Shannon Ginther
unveiled the new City of Columbus Comprehensive Paid Family Leave
Policy at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, 111 Liberty Street
Comprehensive Paid Family Leave benefit consists of two parts: parental
leave that provides up to six weeks of leave for welcoming a new
child, and a pilot caregiver leave program which
grants up to four weeks of leave to care for a seriously ill family
member. Both will be reimbursed at 70 percent of pay.
policies in our country too often haven’t kept pace with the reality
of what the modern family needs. But the facts are clear: what’s good
for families is good for business is good for Columbus,” Councilmember Brown
are proud that this new benefit will cover our entire workforce – from a refuse
driver making $19.79 per hour to an IT professional making six
figures, whether you’re a new dad, a new mom, or caring for an aging
parent,” Brown continued.
Ginther, First Lady and Chair of the City of Columbus Women’s Commission,
believes this benefit is vital to promote and sustain the health of women in
often struggle to find balance in the workplace, having to choose between work
and maternity leave,” said Ginther. “Paid family leave gives mothers – and
fathers – the opportunity to bond with their child in the first crucial days
after birth or adoption. This leads to better health outcomes for the child and
strength in the family.”
family leave policies preserve income and increase health outcomes for women,
families, and children.
to Innovation Ohio, rates of infant mortality, immunization, and
breastfeeding have all been seen to improve when women have access to paid
leave during pregnancy and after childbirth. Statistics from AARP
indicate 1.4 million Ohioans are caring for an aging loved one, and due to
an increasingly older population, more and more American workers will assume
this responsibility in the future.
the City of Columbus offers unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave
Act but does not offer a specific paid family leave benefit. In addition,
birth mothers have access to short-term disability, but that benefit is not
available to spouses or domestic partners, or to adoptive parents.
the adoption of its policy, Columbus will be the first city in the
and third city nationally to provide comprehensive paid family leave. In
doing so, it joins the ranks of companies such as Deloitte and Choice
Hotels who know the business benefits of supporting a
leave policy made for the whole family.
2015, Innovation Ohio issued a report on the state of paid family leave in
Ohio. Since that time, the organization has been a leading voice on the
the absence of a national paid leave law, a growing number of municipalities,
states, and businesses across the US have taken the lead to enact the
commonsense, family-friendly policy for their workforce,” said Erin Ryan,
policy analyst at Innovation Ohio and manager of the Women’s Public Policy
family leave policies ensure that working families are no longer forced to
choose between their economic security and caring for a loved one," she
policy change also has economic benefits, said Brown.
have shown increased retention rates for employers who have paid family
leave policies,” said Brown. “There is a proven link between reduced
turnover and paid leave, which contributes to better workplace productivity
and translates to real dollars saved in attraction and employee
Click here for additional information.
City of Columbus Comprehensive Paid Family Leave Policy Summary
- The Comprehensive Paid Family Leave
benefit provides six weeks of parental leave and four weeks of caregiver
leave at 70 percent of pay. (Caregiver is defined as caring for a
seriously ill family member.)
- Utilization of the benefit
would require a two-week transition period. This means that employees
would be required to utilize 80 hours of sick or vacation leave prior to
the family leave benefit kicking in. Employees can also elect to take this
time as unpaid.
- This benefit would be extended to full-time regular
and limited employees, as well as those employees otherwise eligible for
protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act.