Under the bill, cities and other employers would be required to pay quarterly premiums into a state insurance program.
Language from HF 1200 (Rep. Ruth Richardson, DFL-Mendota Heights), which would create a state-administered mandatory paid family and medical leave insurance program, will advance as part of the House version of the jobs, economic development, and energy omnibus bill, SF 4091 (Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake).
The omnibus bill was passed by the House on May 4 with a delete-all amendment to become the first unofficial engrossment to be negotiated in a conference committee.
Details of the bill
The bill would provide up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement for medical leave and up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement for family leave. Employers would pay into an insurance program established under the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
The DEED commissioner will maintain a premium account for each employer, and employers must pay quarterly premiums at a rate calculated under the formula outlined in Section 18 of the bill. Employers would also be required to submit a detailed quarterly wage report to the DEED commissioner.
Employers that provide their own paid family and medical leave plan may apply to the commissioner for approval to meet their obligations under this bill, so long as the plan confers all the same rights, protections, and benefits provided to employees under the bill.
Testimony in committee
The bill was brought forward in House Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy Committee on Feb. 14. Testimony on the bill was divided, with some speakers supporting the proposed program for the benefits it would provide to employees and others expressing concerns for the cost impact and lack of flexibility to employers.
The League has worked with legislators over the years on various iterations of this bill. While HF 1200 is an improvement to previous versions of this language, several concerns remain about how this program would impact cities.
League staff submitted written testimony outlining the concerns, along with suggested revisions that would make the law more feasible for cities to administer.