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Government & Politics

Summit County Council Will Consider Medical Leave Proposal Tonight

photo of Elizabeth Walters

A new proposal before Summit County Council tonight would allow employees to take off six weeks of paid leave after the birth of a child – a big change from the current policy.

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but County Councilwoman Elizabeth Walters is proposing to pay county employees for the first half of that leave. She estimates about four-dozen babies are born to county employees each year, and the new plan would include both mothers and fathers.

“It’s a great recruitment tool for us. Because while we can’t be competitive with corporate America in terms of wages, we can provide benefits that support their life outside of work.”

If passed, the new leave rules would be the first for a county in Ohio. Cities currently offering paid leave include Cincinnati, Dayton and Newburgh Heights.

Councilwoman Walters says she has the support of County Executive Ilene Shapiro, and she has gotten positive feedback from the other members of County Council.