SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Tonight, the Minnesota House is expected to approve the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act which provides Minnesota workers with up to 12 weeks of leave to bond with a new baby, care for a loved one, or recover from illness. Rep. John Persell (DFL – Bemidji) supports the legislation.
“Too many Minnesotans have to choose between a paycheck and bonding with a new baby, helping an aging parent, or caring for a sick family member or themselves,” said Rep. Persell. “Minnesota workers and their loved ones deserve better. Paid family and medical leave would provide greater economic security for hardworking Minnesotans and their families, and I’m proud to support it.”
Under the Paid Family & Medical Leave Act, workers with qualifying family events and medical conditions could apply for leave to take care of a family member or get medical attention for themselves. They would receive a percentage of their regular wages while on leave.
Funding for paid family and medical leave would be shared between employers and employees. The program would be funded by a premium collected as a payroll deduction. Employers and employees could split the costs evenly, with each paying about .3 percent of their payroll. In the case of a worker earning the state average, the employer and the worker would each pay about $168 a year or $3.23 per week.
The bill provides flexibility for Minnesota businesses. Employers can opt out of the program if they provide equivalent benefits.
Nationwide, only 14 percent of workers have access to paid family and medical leave.