Restaurateurs praise union for about-face on paid leave

COLUMBUS Ohio The Ohio Restaurant Association is lauding a decision by the Service Employees International Union District 1199 and Ohioans for Healthy Families Coalition to withdraw their proposal for mandatory paid sick leave from the Nov. 4 ballot. The proposal would have required restaurants and other businesses with more than 25 employees to provide seven days of paid sick leave to everyone working 30 hours or more per week, as well as a pro-rated number of days to part-time workers.

Union President Becky Williams said in a statement that proponents of the state referendum are shifting their efforts to promoting a federal paid sick leave bill. “We will not rest until paid sick days finally and at long last becomes a reality—not just for all Ohioans, but for all Americans,” she said.

The ballot initiative would have crippled businesses “at exactly the worst time in Ohio’s economic cycle” and that the state can now focus on programs to grow the economy, ORA chairman Ed Elliott said on the association’s website.

The ORA and four other statewide trade associations led a campaign in opposition to the proposal.