This afternoon, opponents of the Ohio Healthy Families were given a boost when Governor Strickland announced his opposition to the Ohio Healthy Families Act hours after discussions with business leaders and the SEIU failed(see article from today’s Columbus Dispatch).
In his statement, Gov. Strickand states:
"While important members of the business community and SEIU participated in good faith discussions, it was, unfortunately, not possible to achieve a compromise acceptable to a sufficient portion of the business community and the proponents to cause its removal from the ballot. We regret that a reasonable compromise was not possible. This reality means that there will be a hard fought campaign centering on this initiative in the coming months. During that campaign, we call upon both sides to avoid portraying Ohio as unfriendly to business and economic development.
We also recognize it is important to make clear our thoughts on important public policy issues and today are announcing that we cannot support the paid sick-day ballot initiative. While we would hope that all Ohio businesses would make paid sick days available to their employees whenever possible, we believe that this initiative is unworkable, unwieldy and would be detrimental to Ohio’s economy, and we will be opposing it and asking Ohioans to oppose it as a result."
In the coming months, we can expect an all out media blitz from both sides of this issue. As a result, the Ohio business community needs to understand how to legally and effectively communicate with their workforces so that they understand the detriments of this paid sick leave mandate. Just as important, because employers will not be able to reduce or eliminate other forms of leave in order to comply with the OHFA after enactment, all employers with at least 25 employees in Ohio need to begin the process of planning how they will comply with the OHFA, if it passes.
Check back here for any further developments. In addition, employers that are interested in joining the official statewide campaign against paid sick leave mandates should visit the Ohioans to Protect Jobs & Fair Benefits website.