ST. PAUL – A plan that creates a mandatory, government-run paid leave program funded by tax increases on employers and employees has been approved in the Minnesota House. State Representative Marj Fogelman (R-Fulda) opposed the measure.
“This program is going to come at an immense cost to every worker and job provider in our state at a time when they cannot afford it,” Fogleman said.
Fogelman 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 employees.
Fogelman noted the plan would apply to virtually every employer in Minnesota. Unlike the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which only applies to employers with 50 or more employees, Fogelman 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. Fogelman 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.
Along with the $3 billion tax increase, Fogelman said as many as 400 new full-time employees will need to be hired to develop and administrate the statewide program.
The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.