The Minnesota House of Representatives on April 9, 2014 passed the Women’s Economic Security Act (HF 2536) by a 106-24 vote. The companion Senate bill (SF 2050) awaits action in the Senate. According to the Senate’s bill summary, the law will:
- Allow mothers to stay in the workplace by expanding family leave and providing minor, reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing employees;
- Decrease the gender pay gap through the participation of women in high-wage, high-demand nontraditional work;
- Reduce the gender pay gap through increased enforcement of equal pay laws for state contractors and by allowing employees to discuss pay inequities;
- Address economic consequences of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault;
- Enhance retirement security by considering a state retirement savings plan for those without an employer-provided option
- Expand grandparent care-giving options.
The law would also allow employers to reduce the period of leave it may require by the amount of any paid leave or leave required by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), so that the total time off does not exceed 12 weeks. The new law would clarify that only 12 weeks of leave are required even if the employee is eligible for both state and federal leave. What you need to know: If enacted into law, this legislation will require most Minnesota employers to take a close look at their existing policies and procedures and to make any changes necessary to bring them into compliance. For more information about this article, please contact me at alexandriamnlaw.com or [email protected].