In the Wake of a "Terrible" and "Radical" Minnesota Bill

Date: May 30, 2016 Last Edit: June 02, 2016

A labor bill presents some alarming possibilities for small business owners.

In the Wake of a “Terrible” and “Radical” Minnesota Bill

A
recent bill passed by the Senate would mandate 12 weeks of paid family or
medical leave for workers, requiring employers and employees to pay into an
insurance pool in the eventuality of needing paid time off for birth, adoption
or family care. The legislation exempted many small businesses with under 21 employees

While the bill is unlikely to reach
Gov. Mark Dayton as no similar bill has been introduced in the House, the
proposal is a worrisome sign of what could come.

“It’s
really a terrible proposal,” NFIB/Minnesota State Director Mike Hickey said.
“The bill is really radical. It goes way beyond what any state has.”

While
all states require employers provide unpaid leave, only three states currently
mandate paid leave—California, Rhode Island and New Jersey—but only for six to
eight weeks, almost half of what this new bill would require.

Proponents
of the bill feel it’s necessary to help employees feel the freedom to care for
their families and will help businesses by placing them on an even footing with
competition that offers such benefits. But opponents fear it could have a
negative impact on businesses in the state.

Many
Minnesota businesses already provide paid leave on their own accord; mandated
leave would leave many small businesses in the lurch. And the bill doesn’t just
affect business owners’ finances—employees stand to lose a percent of each
paycheck, an amount they may never gain back should they not require family or
sick leave.

“Fortunately, this bill was DOA in the new House the day it was introduced. It really paints a troubling picture of an unmanageable state run program loaded with large tax increases for both employers and employees,” Hickey said. “Many employees would never use the program due to life circumstances but they would get to pay for it every year.”

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