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We created Essential Ohio as part of a national campaign, Always Essential, to elevate and fight alongside the working people that we always knew were essential, but have now been named as such by policymakers, corporations, and communities across the country.


The pandemic has brought on an increased public awareness and recognition of workers whom we all depend on for our survival and well-being, including health care providers, child care and elder care workers, construction workers, farmworkers, grocery, food production, delivery drivers and other gig workers, city and county workers, teachers, and many others.

We know that Black, Latinx and other workers of color in Ohio are being disproportionately impacted by workplace health and safety issues.

"When we come out of this crisis, we will not accept a reality in which whole groups of workers, many of them women of color and immigrants, are treated as disposable—to be used and abused without workplace protections or benefits worthy of their labor."

Essential Ohio offers a list of demands through an Essential Worker Bill of Rights which include:

  • Health and safety protections at work

  • Robust premium compensation

  • The honoring of commitments regarding job quality standards, including collective bargaining agreements for union members

  • Truly universal paid sick leave and family and medical leave

  • Protection from retaliation for whistleblowers

  • An end to carve-outs and loopholes in our labor laws that misclassify workers and exclude others from basic labor protections altogether

  • Health care security

  • Affordable child care for every working family

  • Treatment of workers as experts

  • Accountability for companies that shirk their responsibilities to their workers


Accountability is critical to ensuring that workers receive the rights they are promised. As such, worker representation and leadership is crucial as we push for change in Ohio through advocacy, narrative shift and more.


#EssentialOH Takes Action 


Local Advocacy

Essential Ohio has worked with city councils to pass resolutions supporting an Essential Worker Bill of Rights in four cities across Ohio: Lakewood, Toledo, Dayton and Columbus.


State Advocacy

Essential Ohio is calling on the state to ensure working people are safe and healthy, most recently sending a letter calling for the prioritization of essential workers in the vaccination process.

Workers with Masks

Building Power

We are working to ensure that institutions are accountable and listening to essential workers about their experiences during the pandemic and expertise on workplace issues.

Essential Ohio is Led By:

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