On Mother’s Day Governor Dayton signed the Women’s Economic Security Act.  The multi-part law is intended to break down barriers to economic progress facing women.  The law provides wage disclosure protection to employees; provides unemployment benefits for victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse, or stalking; modifies parental leave and sick leave; enhances rights and protections for pregnant and nursing mothers; and adds familial status as a protected class under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.  It also requires certain government contractors to certify compliance with pay equity law.

Many provisions, including the wage disclosure protection, became effective immediately.  The wage disclosure protection prohibits employers from disciplining or taking any other kind of adverse action against an employee who discloses his or her wages or discusses another employee’s wages that have been voluntarily disclosed.  Importantly, the statute requires employers with a handbook to include notice of employee rights and remedies under this new law in the handbook.  If you haven’t already done so, you should update your handbook to include the required disclosures.  You should also ensure that your policies regarding leave, accommodations, and discrimination are up to date with the new laws.

For assistance in understanding and implementing the requirements set forth by this new legislation please contact our employment law attorneys at 507-345-1166.