Leave Updates for Minnesota Employers: The Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act

The Minnesota Women's Economic Security Act was recently signed into a law, providing women with more protections in the workplace. Here are a few items to have on your radar going forward if you are an employer in Minnesota with 21 or more employees -

  • Pregnancy and parenting leave under the Minnesota Parental Leave Act is expanded from 6 weeks to 12 weeks. The leave may be used for pregnancy-related needs. Also, employers must engage in the interactive process regarding accommodations requests related to pregnancy.

  • Sick leave benefits can be used to care for illnesses of the employee's mother in-law, father in-law, grandchildren, or step-grandchildren.

  • Paid time off for "safety leave," which allows employees to provide assistance to relatives who are the victims of sexual assaults, domestic abuse, or stalking.

Also, no matter what your employee count, if you are an employer in Minnesota, you must provide unpaid break time and a private space (not a restroom) for nursing activities. Additionally, you cannot require employees to maintain their wage information as private or confidential, or take any adverse action against employees who disclose their wage information.

Here’s a Fact Sheet with more information about the Women’s Economic Security Act.

Also, diary in your notes that on October 5th of this year, the Act expands unemployment eligibility to victims of sexual assault and stalking.

Wondering what other types of leave you could be missing? Check out all of the leave policies that apply in your state.