Last week, Minnesota lawmakers introduced an expansive legislative package — dubbed the “Women’s Economic Security Act of 2014” — to address a wide range of issues affecting women working outside of the home, including mandated paid sick leave, increased minimum wage and expanded access to childcare.
If the legislation passes, private companies hired by Minnesota would be required to report on pay equity within their workforce. The law would also expand unpaid family leave and paid sick leave while establishing protections for pregnant workers in need of reasonable workplace accommodations. Existing protections for domestic violence survivors would be strengthened, incentives to help women entrepreneurs would be created, and a state retirement plan established, among other initiatives.
“The Women’s Economic Security Act aims to break down barriers to economic progress so that women — and all Minnesotans — have a fair opportunity to succeed,” said Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen (D).
Other states, including Nebraska and New York, have introduced expansive legislative packages to combat these problems. And In July, Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) similarly unveiled their “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” agenda, which addresses universal childcare, a minimum wage increase, paid sick leave, and the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Media Resources: Minnesota House of Representatives release 1/30/2014; Feminist News 1/30/14; Think Progress 1/21/14; Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s website;