Ohio Panel Approves Domestic Partner Benefits

June 23, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A state of Ohio committee has approved a new rule allowing nonunion state workers to take approved bereavement or sick time off to deal with events involving their live-in partner. 

An Associated Press news report said the passage by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review came despite comments from its chairman, state Senator Tom Niehaus, that the measure was different than the state’s official definition of marriage, which Niehaus said was a union between a man and a woman.  

Despite the reservation, Niehaus said the panel had no legal authority to refuse to approve the rule, according to the AP.  

Governor Ted Strickland’s administration has described the rule as a matter of fairness, saying it extends benefits to nonunion employees that union workers already receive.