2014 Legislation

Summary of the WESA Provisions Signed in to Law 2014

Conference Committee Report

Click on the bill number to view a copy of the bill and check the status.

Women’s Economic Security Act Omnibus Bill:  HF2536//SF2050

Senate Package Summary (updated April 7, 2014)

House Package Summary (updated April 7, 2014)

Close the gender pay gap:

  • Require private businesses with more than 40 employees that have contracts with the state of $500,000 or more to ensure and state compliance with equal pay laws (HF 2373 // SF 1806)
  • Protect employees from retaliation for discussion of compensation (HF 2274 // SF 1999)

Increase income for working women and their families:

  • Increase the minimum wage to $9.50 (HF 92 // SF 3)

Expand access to high-quality, affordable childcare:

  • Remove the $5,000 cap on early learning scholarships (HF 1880 // SF 1966)
  • Eliminate the waiting list for the Basic Sliding Fee program to serve all eligible families (SF 1858 // HF 2364)
  • Increase reimbursement rates for child care providers participating in the Child Care Assistance Program (SF 1858 // HF 2364)

Expand family and sick leave for working families: 

  • Provide paid sick and safe leave, allowing workers to earn 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked (HF 2461 // SF 2105)
  • Expand unpaid leave under the Minnesota Parental Leave Act from 6 to 12 weeks (HF 2371 // SF 1956)
  • Add pregnancy to the Minnesota Parental Leave Act (HF 2371 // SF 1956)
  • Allow use of existing sick leave for care of in-laws (HF2990 // SF2843)

Protect women from discrimination in the workplace: 

  • Add “family caregiver status” and “familial status to the list of protected classes for employment purposes (HF 2300 // SF 2006)
    • Ex. Prevent employers from discriminating against a woman with children or those with elder care responsibilities in hiring, firing, promotion, or compensation decisions
  • Increase enforcement of existing workplace protections for nursing mothers (HF 2259 // SF 2000)
  • Require employers with 21 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees such as more frequent breaks or transfer to a less strenuous position (HF 2371 // SF 1956)

Enhance protections for victims of violence:

  • Allow victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking to use paid leave to obtain services (HF 2461 // SF 2105)
  • Improve housing protections for victims of violence (HF859 // SF771)
  • Expand unemployment insurance eligibility currently available to victims of domestic violence to include victims of stalking and sexual assault  (SF 2111 // HF 2366)

Encourage women in non-traditional, high-wage jobs:

  • Provide incentives within DEED workforce development programs to integrate women into high-skill, high-wage, nontraditional jobs (HF 2291 // SF 2274)

Help women-owned small businesses succeed:

  • Establish a pilot project for women entrepreneur’s business development in traditionally male-dominated and/or technology industries (HF 2243 // SF 2158)

Help older women be economically secure:

  • Study and plan for a Minnesota Retirement Savings Plan allowing small private sector employees without an employer-sponsored retirement plan to pool into a state-managed program (HF 2419 // SF 2078)
  • Protect spouse caregivers from financial hardship by updating Minnesota’s Medicaid spousal impoverishment law (HF 2241 // SF 2267)

Download PDF of package as introduced