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Posted April 23rd, 2014 in Top Stories

Women’s Economic Security Act Coming to a Business Near You

The Women’s Economic Security Act (“WESA”) was signed into law by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on May 11, 2014. The sweeping new employment law measures included in the new law are aimed at improving equal pay for women, expanding parental leave and creating more accommodating workplace environments for nursing mothers, among other changes.

WESA is a major piece of legislation that will affect the vast majority of Minnesota employers in multiple ways. Following are some of the major implications:

  • Creates new protected class for familial status
  • Expands pregnancy and parental leave
  • Expands protections and accommodations for nursing mothers
  • Further expands sick leave
  • Mandates certain pregnancy accommodations
  • Prohibits wage disclosure agreements
  • Requires equal pay certificates for certain employers doing business with Minnesota
  • Expands the definition of “employee” for various required leaves of absence
  • Broadens eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits

Nilan Johnson Lewis labor and employment attorney Lisa Schmid is closely following this new law, and is available to comment on what’s next, and how employers should prepare for the upcoming changes.

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