Proposal: 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave

Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove) and other Democratic state lawmakers have unveiled the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, which would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid leave for all Minnesotans. This is a much broader proposal than one offered by gov. Mark Dayton, who is seeking 6 weeks of parental leave for the state’s 35,000 public employees.

"We know that workers who have access to paid family leave use less sick time and are healthier,” said Sen. Sieben. “When employees are given the opportunity to care for their children, use the time to heal after a serious medical illness, or care for their aging parents it means they are better able to earn a good living, support their family, and retire securely.”

The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act would require startup funds from the state. After its implementation, funding would come from employee and employer contributions, based on a percentage of income. Sieben said the weekly contribution for the average worker would be about $1.70.