As part of the Omnibus Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Bill, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz approved an amendment relating to accommodations for pregnancy and prohibiting reduced compensation for lactation breaks, among other changes. The amendment comes into force on January 1, 2022.
Under Minnesota law, employers must provide employees who need to express breast milk for their infant with reasonable break times each day. The amendment prohibits an employer from reducing an employee’s pay for time spent expressing milk. The amendment also includes language that limits the employer’s liability to 12 months after the birth of the child. Employers can always request that these lactation breaks be scheduled on regularly scheduled rest or meal breaks, but otherwise they cannot reverse payment.
Additionally, the amendment combined Minnesota laws relating to nursing mothers, nursing employees, and pregnancy accommodations into a single section, Minnesota Statute Section 181.939.
The law on pregnancy accommodation remains largely the same. However, under the amendment, coverage applies to all employers with at least 15 employees (not at least 21) and there is no longer a duration or average number of hours per week that a employee must meet to receive accommodation rights and protections. under the statute.
Gina K. Janeiro and Hadley M. Simonett are attorneys at Jackson Lewis in Minneapolis. © 2021 Jackson Lewis. All rights reserved. Republished with permission.