June 4, 2014
Minnesota employers should take immediate steps to review and revise sick time, family leave, and other workplace policies to ensure that they comply with the newly enacted Women’s Economic Security Act (“WESA”). Beginning July 1, 2014, Minnesota employers must:
- Provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave (up from the current six week requirement) to qualified employees following the birth or adoption of a child.
- Provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for prenatal care to female employees or because the employee is incapacitated due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related health conditions.
- Allow employees to use personal sick leave benefits for “safety leave,” which is defined as leave needed by the employee in order to receive help because of sexual assault, domestic abuse, or stalking, or to assist a close relative who needs such help.
- Allow employees to use sick leave for absences due to an illness of or injury to a parent-in-law or grandchild, in addition to the relatives that had been previously listed in state law.
- Take reasonable steps to provide a space to nursing mothers who need to express breast milk that is shielded from view and free from intrusion by others and has an electrical outlet.
- Include in any employee handbook a notice that employees may not be prohibited from disclosing their wages to others as a condition of employment—which itself is a new protection set out by WESA.
For more information on these and other WESA provisions, please see our May 22, 2014 alert.
We encourage you to contact the Best & Flanagan Labor & Employment practice group for assistance in reviewing and revising policies and procedures to ensure compliance with WESA and other state and federal employment laws and regulations. For more information, contact Sarah Crippen (612.341.9733, firstname.lastname@example.org).