Friday, October 26, 2007

'This is NOT business friendly' post #3

Boy - I really wish this weren't my third posting on this topic, but it is ... I'll probably have to start a new label for these kinds of stories if they continue, and that makes me very sad.

Today's Blade carries this article on the Ohio Civil Rights Commission's vote for mandated maternity leave.

"The Ohio Civil Rights Commission voted 4-1 yesterday to require companies with four or more employees to allow women 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

The policy change now goes to a legislative rule review committee that generally approves measures without issue.

But the Ohio Chamber of Commerce said it will argue that the commission overstepped its authority with the change, which should be debated by the state legislature.

With the requirement, Ohio would join at least 18 other states that provide more generous maternity benefits than required in federal mandates."

Perhaps it's just my lack of knowledge about the structure of this commission, but I guess I didn't think that having a child was a "right."

And why does any state commission get to take a vote that mandates what is, basically, a new law - and then have this new 'law' go into effect through a legislative rule review committee (JCARR?) without ever having been debated in the legislature?

I realize that some state agencies are tasked with developing the rules to implement laws that are passed, but this mandated maternity leave for companies with as few as 4 employees seems to go beyond anything the legislature intended. And that appears to be the position the Ohio Chamber of Commerce is taking.

When you consider this post about Ohio's bottom ranking in business-friendly states, this one about mandated paid sick days, and this latest from the OCRC, the environment in Ohio isn't looking good for our job providers.


Victoria Kamm said...


I agree the OCRC should not be the authority on this. I am wondering though if there were another way of viewing this issue.

Many companies considered as employee friendly offer far more generous maternity leaves than the feds. It's a way of retaining talent.

I understand that's the company's decision not the gov't. In a misguided way Ohio may be trying to appear more business friendly by emulating successful businesses or other states that have recruited them.

Now if you want to talk about having children considered a "right" (although I didn't see it in the copy)that's a topicI would love to see addressed.

Maggie Thurber said...

the 'right' to have

Guess I was wondering why this was in the Civil Rights Commission in the first place...

But I think you're correct in considering this as an attempt to emulate what companies are already doing.

However, that brings us back to this question: If it's a good idea that helps a particular company, the company will do so without a mandate from government, especially in today's highly competitive market.

But, if some other benefit might work better for a company's employees, having such a mandate might negate the ability to offer something else.

In the end, the issue isn't the actual 'benefit' and whether or not it makes sense for a company to offer it - but rather the government 'mandating such things, eliminating the ability of a company to tailor such offerings to match the needs of their employees and their market of potential employees.

Maggie Thurber said...

Another thought - do we become more business friendly by mandating what businesses must do or by making it easier for companies to do business here successfully? And where would this 'mandate' fall on such a continuum? hmm...

Victoria Kamm said...

I don't like gov't mandates. Really I think the gov't has done enough.

Still business friendly has often created business problems: unions, anti-monopoly legislation, etc.

It's a slippery slope.

Tim Higgins said...


I agree with you that it's a slippery slope, but I believe that your perspective is off.

There may have been a time in our past when the free reign of business needed monitoring, but I think that time is past. The slippery slope that we are facing is the increased interference of government business, as well as in every other aspect of our lives.

The largest threat to our quality of life, to our very liberty and freedom these day, is our own government.

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