We believe that Minnesotans should be able to work and care for themselves and their families and that a paid family and medical leave insurance program is a fair, common-sense solution that would let them do both. We advocate for a state-administered program where everyone contributes – both employees and employers – and everyone benefits – workers, families, businesses, and our economy.
In 2015, Minnesotans for Paid Family Leave successfully advocated for an analysis of the options and mechanisms for implementing a paid family and medical leave program in Minnesota. Through a competitive bidding process, the state Department of Employment and Economic Development selected the University of Minnesota, in partnership with leading national organizations, to conduct the research and produce the report. The robust, expert analysis examined and built upon the experiences of other states with similar programs and informed the policy and programmatic mechanisms included in the Paid Family & Medical Leave Act of 2016.
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act creates a state-administered, self-sustaining insurance program providing Minnesota workers with modest but meaningful benefits – up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement during pregnancy and medical leave and 12 weeks during family leave – defined as bonding with a new child or caring for a seriously-ill family member. It replaces 80% to 55% of wages (based on income) up to a maximum of the average weekly wage, or around $1,000 per week. By each contributing an estimated 0.27% of a worker’s wages, employers and employees jointly fund the insurance pool. The median worker would pay in just $1.75 per week, and the most any worker would pay is $6.15 weekly.
During the 2016 legislative session, Senator Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove) and Representative Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) introduced the Act and the Senate passed an amended version in its tax omnibus bill. The House blocked hearings and passage.
On February 9, 2017, Senator Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) and Representative Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) introduced the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act of 2017. SF830/HF1013. We continue to call for hearings and passage.