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September 08, 2008
Group Drops State Ballot Fight for Paid Sick Days

Organizers of a paid sick leave initiative in Ohio have dropped their effort to have it appear on the ballot in November. Ohioans for Healthy Families, the coalition of labor groups and other organizations that pushed for the ballot initiative, said they would fight for paid sick leave on a national level instead.

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Governor Ted Strickland praised the group's decision, saying it would have been a divisive issue in the election.

"In my judgment, this initiative was not the right way to pursue the worthy goal of obtaining paid sick leave for working people," Strickland said. "While I support providing paid sick leave to working families, I was deeply concerned that a divisive public campaign about Ohio 's business climate as well as the enactment of new requirements that would put Ohio at a competitive disadvantage would both negatively impact Ohio 's economy."

Strickland said that he supports the enactment of federal legislation that would establish required paid sick days nationally.

The measure in Ohio would have covered employers with 25 or more employees and required those employers to provide 7 days of paid sick leave annually for employees working 30 hours or more a week. For employees who work fewer than 30 hours, employers would have had to provide a pro-rated amount of leave.

Under the measure, accrued sick leave would have carried over from year to year, but there is no requirement for employers to allow the accumulation of more than seven days per year.

The District of Columbia and San Francisco require employers to offer paid sick leave. In November 2006, voters in San Francisco approved Proposition F, making the city the first to require employers to offer paid sick leave.

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