Sen. Sandy Pappas Celebrates 10 Years of the Women’s Economic Security Act  

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On May 13, Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) joined advocates and officials to celebrate a decade since the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA) was signed into law, protecting and promoting opportunities for women in the workplace. Officials from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, and gender justice advocates gathered for a morning of panels, discussion and community building in the Minnesota Senate Building.

“I’m immensely proud to have been the Senate author of the Women’s Economic Security Act 10 years ago,” said Senator Pappas. “In those 10 years, WESA has protected countless women from discrimination in the workplace and provided innumerable opportunities for their career advancement. Last session, I ushered to passage the final two provisions included in the original WESA proposal: Earned Sick and Safe Time and the Secure Choice Retirement Program. After a decade of advocacy, our persistence and patience paid off, and every Minnesotan worker will reap the benefits of these laws.”

Other recent changes to WESA include 2023 updates that ensure:

  • All nursing and lactating workers receive break times to express milk, regardless of their child’s age, without losing compensation; 
  • All workplace lactation spaces are clean, private and secure; 
  • Employees at workplaces of all sizes have the right to workplace pregnancy accommodations and unpaid parental leave; and 
  • All workers are notified of the rights of pregnant and lactating workers when hired, when a worker makes an inquiry about or requests parental leave, and in a worker handbook if applicable.

The Women’s Economic Security Act 10-Year Anniversary Event was held in the Minnesota Senate Building on May 13 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Senator Sandy Pappas
Sandy Pappas represents District 65, which includes portions of Saint Paul in Ramsey County in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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