ST. PAUL, Minn.– Protections for Minnesota families will be a major focus of the 2016 Legislative Session. The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act was unveiled recently, and proposes to create a statewide insurance program in which “everybody contributes and everybody benefits.” The goal of this legislation is to allow all Minnesota workers to meet the needs of their families without jeopardizing their economic security.
“In Minnesota, we take pride in saying yes to inclusivity, better working conditions, and higher wages,” said Senator Dahle. “Creating a Paid Family and Medical Leave program is the next step. In order for our state economy to continue to thrive, our businesses must adapt to the needs of the 21st century workforce. Paid Family Leave is a proven method to supporting heathier and stronger families everywhere.”
Currently, only 13 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave. Of that small percentage, most of those workers are already some of the highest paid in the country – furthering the disparities gap between the haves and the have nots. The Senate DFL believes all Minnesota workers should have the ability to care for a new child, an aging parent, or take time to heal from an illness – without having to choose between their careers and their families.
Research has proven that offering paid family leave leads to healthier children, workers who use less sick time, and in the long run offers cost savings to businesses thanks to increased employee retention. Paid family leave makes it possible for people to keep their jobs when serious family medical needs arise. It also allows workers to better support their family members by caring for them without having to sacrifice their livelihood to do it.