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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Frances Clardy (DFL)

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Release: Rep. Clardy supports Paid Family and Medical Leave’s passage in the House

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 2 on a vote of 68-64 to establish a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. The program would be administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in conjunction with its Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. 

Representative Mary Frances Clardy (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) is a co-author on the bill and voted to support the measure and its passage. 

“Working Minnesotans in every industry, from essential workers in healthcare and childcare to janitors and small business owners have rallied for support of this bill,” said Rep. Clardy. “We know BIPOC workers are less likely to have PFML. This program would close that access gap and create racial, gender and economic equity for every working person in our state.”

Less than 20% of workers in the United States have access to paid family and medical leave through their employers. The rest, predominantly lower-wage workers, face some impossible decisions. Under the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA), workers in the U.S. can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth of a child or if the worker or a family member has a serious illness or injury. Most workers, however, cannot afford to take unpaid leave and the FMLA offers little relief.  

The United States is the only high-wealth country in the world that does not allow workers to take paid family leave. Further, a compelling majority of Americans support paid family leave. In one recent, national poll, 84% expressed support for a national paid family leave program. 

The bill’s companion is traveling in the Minnesota Senate.