New Minnesota law to reduce gender pay gap

By KBJR News 1

New Minnesota law to reduce gender pay gap

August 1, 2014 Updated Aug 1, 2014 at 1:19 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A new Minnesota state law, to reduce the gender pay gap, and improve economic security for women and their families, is now in effect.

The Women's Economic Security Act requires businesses with more than 40 employees, seeking state contracts over half a million dollars, to obtain an equal pay certificate of compliance from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

Businesses must prove that they are in compliance with existing equal pay laws, and that average compensation for female employees is not below average compensation for male employees, within major job categories, as identified by the state.

State Representative Carly Melin (DFL - Hibbing), the law's chief author, says the measure will help narrow the gender pay gap between men and women in Minnesota.

"Women in Minnesota earn on average just 80 cents for every dollar men earn," said Melin. "In Greater Minnesota, that gap grows even wider. By building a broad coalition that put women and their families ahead of special interests, we are beginning to close the gender pay gap and build a brighter future for all Minnesotans. Over the coming years, ensuring equal pay for all women in our great state must be a top priority at the legislature. Ending discrimination in pay will help build an economy that works for all of us."

Most provisions in the Women's Economic Security Act went into effect the day after Governor Dayton signed the bill into law on Mother's Day.

Beginning October 5, unemployment insurance eligibility will be expanded from victims of domestic violence to also include victims of stalking and sexual assault.

A report on the potential for a state-administered plan for workers without access to workplace retirement savings plans; along with other alternative private sector options is due back to the Legislature by January 15, 2015.

More details on the can be Women's Economic Security Act provisions can be found at http://www.mnwesa.org/