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Maternity leave war leads to CRC head’s resignation

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in Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Barbara Sykes said it was “political back and forth” that led her to resign her post as appointed head of Ohio’s Civil Rights Commission (CRC) just before her confirmation hearing.

Sykes locked horns with Gov. Ted Strickland over the commission’s proposal to expand Ohio’s maternity leave requirements. Sykes proposed requiring employers with four or more employees to offer 12 weeks’ unpaid leave, the same amount mandated for employers of 50 or more workers under federal law.

Strickland requested a delay to study the proposal, which the commission rejected. Shortly after, a legislative committee killed the proposal, saying the commission hadn’t thought through all the ramifications. That’s when Sykes resigned.

Strickland says he will continue to work on a “rule that will clarify a just and reasonable maternity leave.”

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