ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House Democrat majority has approved a plan that would create a mandatory, government-run paid leave program funded by tax increases on virtually every employer and employee in Minnesota. State Representative Steve Jacob (R-Altura) opposed the measure.
“Minnesota has a $17.5 billion surplus, yet while most Minnesotans are struggling to pay for everyday necessities House Democrats want them to pay even greater taxes,” Jacob said.
Jacob said the nearly $3 billion program will be paid for by a brand-new tax on employers and employees and expands employers’ leave obligations to part-time and temporary workers.
Unlike the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which only applies to employers with 50 or more employees, Jacob said the House Democrat paid family and medical leave program would apply to all employers including those with only one employee.
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce says that 80% of their members already provide paid family leave. Jacob noted that this bill threatens workers benefits, and employees may end up with a worse paid family leave program than the one their employer currently offers.
Jacob said as many as 400 new full-time employees will need to be hired to develop and administrate the statewide program, in addition to the $3 billion tax increase.
The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.