This Mother's Day Minnesota made history when Governor Dayton signed into law the Women's Economic Security Act, an unprecedented, concerted effort to breakdown the systemic barriers women face in the workplace.
The 149 legislators who passed this bipartisan legislation understand the urgency in righting the imbalance in the workplace. Mothers are the sole or primary income provider in 40% of all households with children under the age of 18, and women still earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.
As State Senator Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, explains, "The Women's Economic Security Act positions Minnesota as a leader in the nation on issues like the gender pay gap and workplace protections for pregnant women and nursing mothers. We are going to see real progress and that's tremendously exciting."
This legislation, a package of nine bills, will do the following:
- Allow mothers to stay in the workforce by expanding family leave and providing reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing employees
- Decrease the gender pay gap through the participation of women in high-wage, high-demand nontraditional work
- Reduce the gender pay gap through increased enforcement of equal pay laws for state contractors and by allowing employees to discuss pay inequities
- Decrease the gender pay gap by addressing the "motherhood penalty"
- Address economic consequences of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault
- Enhance retirement security by considering a state retirement savings plan for those without an employer-provided option.
Planned Parenthood celebrates this new law, because we know that when women succeed, families succeed.
ALISON GRIFFIN, MINNESOTA PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER