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Masin Casts Support Behind Workplace Pregnancy Leave Proposal

Eagan Rep. Sandra Masin (DFL) is listed as the co-author of a bill that would require employers to provide as much as 12 weeks of pregnancy leave for female workers.

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District 51A Rep. Sandra Masin (DFL) has cast her support behind a proposal that—if approved—would require employers to grant as much as 12 weeks of unpaid pregnancy leave to female employees.

The new law, HF 463, was introduced on Feb. 11 in the House and referred to the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee. The bill's author is District 60B Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL), but more than a dozen legislators, including Masin, have signed on as co-authors of the proposal.

Under the bill’s provisions, an employer must grant an unpaid leave of absence to a female employee undergoing pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions for a reasonable period of time. The length of the leave is determined by the employee, but cannot exceed 12 weeks unless agreed upon by employer.

Employers are also required to provide "reasonable accommodation" for an employee for conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or related issues, according to the proposal.

As outlined in the bill, reasonable accommodation includes seating, frequent restroom breaks and limits to heavy lifting. Employers are also required to transfer temporarily an employee to a less strenuous position for the duration of her pregnancy if she asks for it.

Current Minnesota standards require employers to give parents a maximum of six weeks of unpaid parental leave following the birth of a child, provided the company employs 21 or more employees.

But the law says little about pregnancy leave, only mandating that employers make "reasonable acommodations" for physical needs.

Masin wasn't immediately available for comment.

Rosco February 15, 2013 at 03:18 PM
We are the only industrialized country that doesn't give a reasonable leave for new mothers and no pay for the time taken off. Once again America is behind the curve. I'm guessing if it were men that had the children there would be a very generous paid time off period. Thanks you Sandra and Phyllis.
Deb M February 15, 2013 at 05:56 PM
It is time we entered the rest of the industrialized world. Thank you for taking up a good cause.
Laura Siegel February 16, 2013 at 02:24 PM
This is great if your goal is to employ fewer females. As usual the social engineers are oblivious to the laws of unintended consequences!
Donald Lee February 17, 2013 at 04:21 AM
What the law does is increase the cost of hiring a female of childbearing age. It is indeed a back-door tax on women who work, and will reduce their employment opportunities.

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