The opportunity to care for our families and ourselves without risking our family’s economic security should be available to all Minnesotans. At this critical moment in our state’s legislature, we urge support for the creation of a statewide paid family and medical leave program for all workers in Minnesota. President & CEO has testified on behalf of this legislation, and WFMN is a member of the Minnesotans for Paid Family & Medical Leave Coalition (co-chaired by AFLCIO-MN, Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota, and ISAIAH).
During this last week of session, the Conference Committee on Jobs and Workforce will be considering the House bill to provide Paid Family and Medical leave to all employees in Minnesota. Raising our collective and individual voices will ensure that legislators understand how important this benefit is to Minnesota’s future.
Paid family and medical leave for all Minnesotans will build economic justice for Minnesotans because when we listen to women around our state, family and medical leave is key to the long-term success of women, parents, and all human beings, and should not be optional. To achieve economic security and a fair economic playing field, we must value the work and the roles that women provide by compensating – at minimum – her right to take a leave.
Data shows that women are concentrated in low-wage occupations like service industries where benefits are scarce and pay is low, and women of color dominate these fields. While one in five of Minnesota’s white women work in service jobs, more than one in three Latina, African American, and Native American women work in service fields where benefits are scarce. In contrast, 12% of men work in these occupations. These workers have to make heartbreaking and health-risking choices to care for themselves or loved ones or lose a paycheck or, worse, their jobs.
Paid family and medical leave means workers do not have to choose between caregiving and working. And, paid leave is good for employers in this tight job market. Women with access to paid leave are significantly more likely to return to their previous jobs and build more experience in their jobs. For employers, this means retaining valued workers and for women, this means increased earnings and closing the pay gap.
You can join the WFMN in advocacy this week:
Your voice and your experiences make a difference. We urge you to act this session to build economic security for women, girls, and their families with a statewide paid family and medical leave program for all workers in Minnesota. Contact your legislators by phone or email to share your support for paid family and medical leave. Tell them now is the time!
Find your legislator here: https://www.gis.lcc.mn.gov/iMaps/districts/
Conferees on this legislation include:
- Senate: Pratt, Rarick, Dahms, Senjem, Frentz
- House: Noor, Ecklund, Stephenson, Long, Swedzinski
If your employer does not support paid leave, encourage them to do so.
When we listen to women and families around the state, we see how far we have to go to value the work of women – particularly those pushed to the margins – with an infrastructure that values their work and caregiving and does not leave their talent on the sidelines. We believe that our state’s future prosperity is interwoven, and Minnesota will benefit when women, girls, gender-expansive people, and all people pushed to the margins get exactly what they need to thrive.