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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Legislator Says Coronavirus Concerns Highlight Need for Paid Leave

a photo of state rep Janine Boyd
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
State Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Hts.) is proposing a paid family leave insurance fund.

Gov. Mike DeWine and state health officials are urging people to stay home if they are showing any signs of being sick. This is a major step towards preventing germs as cold and flu season continues and concerns about the coronavirus grow. But some lawmakers say staying home from work isn't an option for many Ohioans. 

State Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Hts.) says there are many workers in Ohio who cannot take a day off of work. If they do, they won't be paid which can make or break them when it comes to paying the bills.

Boyd says concerns around the coronavirus highlight what she calls a stressful decision between staying at home or getting paid.

"They'll risk coming to work because they can't afford not to. And they will spread the virus further," she said.

That's why Boyd is sponsoring a bill that creates a paid family leave insurance fund for all employees, driven by worker premiums.

The bill has received two hearings in the House. It's not known if it will get a vote out of the chamber.