Nancy Polikoff

Ohio Paid Sick Leave Initiative Leaves Out LGBT families...and others

Filed By Nancy Polikoff | July 09, 2008 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: Ohio, Paid sick leave, sick leave, valuing all families

I'd like to support Ohioans for Healthy Families in their effort to put an initiative mandating paid sick leave on the Ohio ballot in November. Then I'd like to support their effort to get out the votes to pass this law.

So what's my hesitation?

If this initiative passes, LGBT workers won't be able to use their sick leave to care for their partners! Workers will only be able to use their leave to care for a sick spouse, parent, or child. What were the folks who wrote this initiative thinking?? Federal government employees right now can use their sick leave to care for anyone with whom they have a "close association" that is the "equivalent of a family relationship." Senator Kennedy's proposed Healthy Families Act uses the same definition.

So I'm not being utopian when I imagine a more inclusive vision. For my more detailed analysis, please read my own blog post today. And again I have to ask, what were the folks who wrote the Ohio initiative thinking?


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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 9, 2008 8:28 PM

Only one thing. Costs. Most states are broke and are scared of overheads as we hit the brick wall of our war excesses. It is not right, but they are stalling for time. Thank you for your posting.

Your post brought to mind an article I wrote about the "mother's rights" movement and its need to be inclusive of LGBT rights. Lots of work to be done in this arena, clearly.

I work for another state and our sick leave is a little more vague saying that the employee can care for members of his/her "immediate family." It doesn't specify whether we have to be married. I've always used mine sparingly to care for my partner when she was sick.

I work for another state and our sick leave is a little more vague saying that the employee can care for members of his/her "immediate family." It doesn't specify whether we have to be married. I've always used mine sparingly to care for my partner when she was sick.

I worked for a company that said "immediate family" too. While my boss allowed me time off for my partner, a co-worker had a different (homophobic) boss that wouldn't count her partner as "family" since they weren't married.

I think they were thinking that queer families don't mean anything. But thanks for pointing this law out.