There are nearly 600,000 family caregivers in Minnesota who are taking care of an adult relative, spouse or friend. There are even more who are caring for children or grandchildren and most of these unsung heroes are doing so while working, raising families and trying to save for their kids college or their own retirement. And most are doing so without basic workplace protections. In fact, only 13 percent of Minnesota workers have paid family and medical leave through their employers. AARP Minnesota believes it’s time for a common-sense solution that allows Minnesotans to work and care for their families.
Why is this important?
Nearly everyone needs paid family or medical leave at some point in their lives, whether it’s to care for a new child, an aging parent, or themselves.
As workers struggle to balance caregiving with their job responsibilities, many end up facing economic hardship. Caregiving demands may even lead to effects felt across years or a lifetime due to lost jobs, missed raises, and reduced Social Security benefits. Our current system has failed and is costly to workers, their families, businesses, and our economy. It’s time to modernize our workplace standards.
What needs to be done?
Minnesotans for Paid Family Leave support a state-administered paid family and medical leave insurance program where everyone contributes and everyone benefits. This program is a fair, common-sense solution allowing Minnesotans to work and care for themselves and their families.
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act would:
- Provide up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement during pregnancy and medical leave and 12 weeks during family leave – defined as bond-ing with a new child or caring for a seriously-ill family member.
- Replace 80% to 55% of wages (based on income) up to a maximum of the average weekly wage, or around $1,000 per week.
- Have minimal costs shared equally by employers and employees. Each would contribute .27% on employee earnings up to $118,500. For the median worker and his/her employer, this equates to $1.75 per week.
What are the benefits of Paid Family Leave?
- Provides meaningful economic security to families during important life events
- Increases paternal involvement in children’s lives
- Allows elders to age in their homes and communities
- Retains women’s participation in the workforce
- Reduces reliance on public assistance programs
- Benefits businesses by reducing turnover, boosting productivity, and enhancing morale
What can you do?
Raise your voice for Paid Family and Medical Leave!
- Sign up to join Minnesotans for Paid Family and Medical Leave
- Share your story by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join us at the Minnesota State Capitol in 2017