I was planning on taking the holiday weekend off, but then Governor Strickland had to publicly come out against the adoption of the new pregnancy leave regulations.
According to this morning's Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio's Governor has asked the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to indefinitely delay its implementation of new maternity leave rules. The Governor said Ohio's businesses need more time to study the proposed maternity-leave timeframe, which will grant up to 12 weeks of medically recommended leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions for every female employee of virtually all Ohio businesses. The OCRC politely rejected the Governor's plea, and will send its proposed rule to the legislative rule-making committee for consideration on December 3 as planned. The Commission Chairperson, Barbara Sykes, a Strickland appointee, said that the Commission has already granted a concession to businesses by making the duration of the leave tied to the employee's doctor's medical approval.
The adoption of these new rules get more bizarre with every turn. First, the "medically recommended" language was slipped in at the 11th hour with no fanfare. Now, the state's Democratic governor, swayed by business interests, is asking his appointee to delay adoption of a measure that is is largely lauded by members of his own party. While it is doubtful that the legislative rule-making body would block these regulations, nothing would surprise me at this point. Everyone should assume that the new rules will go into effect as planned, but continue to watch this blog for further updates on Ohio's new pregnancy leave regulations.