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Lawmakers, Advocates Unveil Paid Family Leave Act

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Published on Mar 7, 2016

DFL Senator Katie Seiben, along with a consortium of DFL legislators and paid family leave advocacy groups, unveiled a proposal for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act at the Minnesota Senate Building on Monday, March 7, 2016. The proposed insurance program, funded by a payroll tax, would provide up to twelve weeks of paid leave for employees to care for a newborn child or a seriously ill family member. The proposed plan is self-funded after initial set-up, with costs borne equally by employers and employees.

“Women in Minnesota are workers. We have one of the highest labor force participation rates for women in the country. At the same time our state work force is aging. For our state’s future prosperity and growth, we need the participation of women in the workforce. Our current lack of a paid family leave program reflects a time, decades ago, when the majority of women did not fully participate in the workforce. A paid family leave program in Minnesota will ensure that workers have some degree of security when a major life event occurs…. It seems to me this is the most basic family value.”

A study supporting the legislation completed by the University of Minnesota (http://mn.gov/deed/images/pfml.pdf) documents the annual costs to workers and families from lost wages and costs to employers from lost productivity and employee turnover.

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