In last night’s State of the Union Address, President Obama reemphasized that employment and labor reform are at the forefront of his current agenda. He urged lawmakers to pass laws regarding the following:
- Equal pay law for women;
- Higher federal minimum wage;
- Government-mandated 7 days of paid sick leave per year.
As we have previously reported, many states, including Ohio, and municipalities have raised minimum wages at the state or local level. As of January 1, 2015, Ohio’s minimum wage is $8.10 per hour for employers with annual gross receipts of $297,000 or more, which is higher than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Many states and municipalities have also passed paid sick leave laws. Proponents of such a law in Ohio initiated a ballot referendum in 2008, but withdrew the referendum prior to the November election that year. Had it been enacted, it would have required employers with 25 or more employees to guarantee full-time employees at least seven days of paid sick leave each year (and part-time employees a pro-rated amount of leave) to care for themselves and their families’ medical needs.