The House passed the Women’s Economic Security Act on Wednesday after a House-Senate conference committee reached an agreement to bring women nearer to reaching equal economic security. The bill now only needs to be approved by the Senate before reaching Gov. Dayton.
The agreement expands unpaid family leave, requires businesses to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing women, and requires state contractors to prove that female employees are not consistently paid less than male employees who work in similar job categories. It also creates a $500,000 grant program to increase the number of women working in high-wage, high-demand, non-traditional occupations.
Despite the fact that recent research found women make 20 percent less than men in Minnesota, current laws only allow for unpaid parental leave for six weeks after birth, and 90 percent of CEOs of Minnesota’s largest public companies are men, some members of the Republican party say the bill “promotes one gender over the other.”
Considering that the bill hopes to alleviate workplace discrimination, workforce segregation, and establish equal pay, it seems one gender has already been promoted over the other.
If the bill moves through the Senate, Gov. Dayton is expected to sign it in the coming weeks.
Post by intern Sam Jasenosky