Ohio Democrats Want To Let Staffers Unionize

Jul 16, 2020

Some Ohio House Democrats have introduced a bill that would allow their staffers to unionize. The move comes after furor over communication about a staffer testing positive for COVID-19.

Democrats have been critical of House leadership, who ordered all employees working from home to return to their offices in early June. Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) says his employees were put in danger.

“If we were taking employees safety seriously, these folks should have been working from home all along,” Crossman says.

The bill would strike a provision in Ohio law that prevents certain state employees and legislative staffers from unionizing.

Last week, Ohio House Rep. Jessica Miranda (D-Cincinnati) said she and other lawmakers in her party were "kept in the dark" about at least one Republican employee who tested positive for COVID19.

Miranda said the only reason she found out was that her staffer was initially asked to stay home because he had been exposed to the illness. But later, Miranda found out her employee was mistaken for someone else. He was allowed to return to work.

Some Democrats lambasted Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) for not being up front with them about the situation, saying he put their employees in danger.

Householder said, in a tweet, that he told the Chief of Staff for Ohio House Democrats and said it was up to him to alert members of that party. Householder, who promised Democrats who helped elect him to become the House Speaker that he would not allow so-called right to work measures to go forward, but he reinstated the work from home policy last week.