What do I need to know about the Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act?

At the time I’m writing this, little.  By the time you read this, or shortly thereafter, employers in Minnesota will need to familiarize themselves with this comprehensive law, because the current bill (or a similar version of it) will likely be signed into law by Governor Dayton in the next few weeks.

Here are the highlights of the Women’s Economic Security Act:

  • The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) would prohibit employers from discriminating against an applicant or employee based on their “familial status.”  What does this mean? Potentially, that anyone with a child who doesn’t receive a   promotion, job, additional responsibilities that could lead to a promotion, or any other adverse work related action could sue the company for “familial status”  discrimination.
  • Increase Parental Leave from 6 weeks under the current law to 12 weeks.
  • Requiring employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant and nursing mothers.
  • For certain state contractors, requiring they produce a certification that no pay gap between male and female workers exists.
  • Have an employee who is a grandparent?  They could use their PTO to care for ill or injured grandchildren.
  • Expanded unemployment insurance coverage for employees who are victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual abuse.
  • Requiring employers to let employees use their PTO to address the effects of domestic violence, stalking or sexual abuse.

This bill, if passed, would offer a significant change in the responsibilities that employers would have toward women, parents and victims of abuse.

 
 
Thompson Coe’s Tips of the Week are not intended as a solicitation, do not constitute legal advice and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.