Necessary Steps for Compliance with The Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act

Equal Pay
The Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act also expanded the Minnesota Human Rights Act so that employers with over forty employees generating more than half a million dollars in Minnesota are required to obtain a certificate of equal pay. In order for an employer to be granted this certificate, they must satisfy some conditions. One of these conditions is that the employer must demonstrate that the average earnings of their female workers are not consistently less than their male counterparts in the same job category. The employer is also required to be compliant with the Minnesota Equal Pay for Equal Work Law, Title seven of the 1964 Civil Rights Law, the 1963 Equal Pay Act, and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

The majority of provisions provided by the Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act are already in effect. The following are the necessary steps that employers should take to comply with these provisions.

Amend Handbooks and Policies
Employers should ensure that their handbooks and policies are up to date so that they expressly do not restrict workers from disclosing their personal earnings. Furthermore, employers should make sure that the handbooks and policies expressly state that there will be no discrimination by the employer due to the familial state of a worker. Such handbooks and policies should clearly express workers’ expanded safety and sick leave rights, and the additional rights of nursing mothers and pregnant women. Employers should also ensure that all notices under the new wage disclosure laws are published.

Train Human Resource Employees and Managers on the New Laws
Ensuring that their handbooks and policies are up to date is not enough, employers need to train their human resource personnel and managers on these provisions. It is essential that these personnel understand the provisions for nursing mothers and pregnant women, the provisions regarding workers’ rights to take safety leave and sick leave, and the right of workers to disclose their personal earnings to other employers. It’s also important that the human resource personnel and managers understand the consequences of retaliating against or taking any action that implies a retaliation against workers who decide to assert their rights under the Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act. This reduces the chances of a civil lawsuit being brought against the employer and the damages that may accrue.