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Nationwide paid medical leave proposed by President Joe Biden


Ohio employment law attorneys explain current medical leave policies

A proposal by President Joe Biden would allow most workers nationwide to eventually take up to 12 weeks of paid medical leave for a serious illness, for raising a newborn child and in certain other circumstances, according to CNBC and numerous other news outlets. Such a proposal would be a dramatic difference to the country’s current medical leave policy, according to Ohio attorneys who handle these types of cases.

President Biden recently proposed offering paid medical leave to most American workers. He proposed it as part of his economic stimulus plan introduced in April, according to The New York Times. The proposed $4 trillion plan includes $225 billion for paid family and medical leave.

If approved, most workers in the United States could receive up to $4,000 a month for 12 weeks due to a serious illness, to care for a newborn child or to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) with a serious illness.

Is paid medical leave available?

Currently, there is no national paid medical leave policy in the United States. Instead, most full-time employees are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical reasons or to raise a newborn child under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993.

However, some states do provide some sort of paid medical leave for most workers. The states that currently require most employers to provide paid medical leave to most employers include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. In addition, certain cities in other states require certain employers to provide paid medical leave.

What is Ohio’s medical leave policy?

Like many other states, Ohio employers are not required to provide paid medical leave. Instead, most employers in Ohio only have to abide by federal FMLA regulations. Those regs require most employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave during a 12 month period.

In order for an employee to take unpaid time off in Ohio for medical reasons, the employee must request the time off in writing at least 14 days in advance, during which time the employee can use paid sick time, personal time or vacation time while waiting for approval from their employer, according to Ohio’s Leave of Absence Without Pay rules.

Other restrictions apply, including:

  • The size of the company (must employ more than 50 workers)
  • How long the employee has worked for the company (at least 12 months)
  • How many hours an employee must work in order to be eligible (at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months)

Can a lawyer help?

Even if you’re legally entitled to take medical leave in Ohio, you may encounter difficulties after you request time off. Your employer might deny your request, wrongfully terminate you or punish you in some other way. They may demote you or not hold your job for you while you take time off for legitimate medical reasons.

The Ohio attorneys at the Nilges Draher LLC have years of experience handling complex legal cases throughout the state. We’re well versed in the state and federal employment laws that apply to employers and employees in Ohio. As a result, we can advise individuals or corporations on the best way to proceed in such legal matters.

Learn more about how we can help you with your particular situation. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation with one of our highly-skilled employment law attorneys. Our law firm has three offices conveniently located in Cleveland, Columbus and Massillon, Ohio.

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