Six Facts-Govenor Dayton's Proposal for Six Weeks of Paid Parental Leave for All State Employees

Feb 10, 2016 4:05:00 PM


Supporting New Parents, Strengthening Minnesota Families

Governor Mark Dayton announced on Tuesday February 9, 2016 his proposal to provide six weeks of paid parental leave for all state employees. When enacted, over 35,000 state employees would be eligible for the benefit. The Governor’s proposal would save new parents nearly $6,200 in wages, allow them the time and financial flexibility to care for their children at a crucial moment of development, and ensure their children have a parent at home until they are old enough to enter a quality childcare program.


Currently, state employees may use accrued sick leave or purchase short-term disability insurance coverage to take paid time off following the birth or adoption of a child. Providing six weeks of paid parental leave would ensure state employees have a guaranteed amount of paid time off with a new child, especially for newer employees with limited sick time. This proposal would also save hard-working Minnesotans thousands of dollars, when they need it most.


  • Helping An Estimated 500 Parents Every Year – According to Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB), over 35,000 state employees would be eligible for paid parental leave under the Governor’s proposal. MMB estimates 500 new parents would benefit from the proposal every year.


  • Saving Parents Nearly $6,200, On Average – According to Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB), forfeiting six weeks of pay would cause the average state employee (between ages 18 and 44) to lose almost $6,200 of income, at a time when they need it most. By ensuring all state employees receive paid parental leave, these parents can continue earning that income while caring for their families.


  • Providing a Bridge to Child Care – Many childcare programs do not allow a child to enter their programs until her or she is at least six weeks old. Providing new parents six weeks of paid leave will help provide working parents a bridge to quality childcare and ensure no family is forced to forgo their wages while waiting to enroll their child in a quality childcare program.


  • Treating All Parents the Same – The Governor’s proposal would provide the same amount of parental leave (six weeks) for all for state employees, regardless of whether they are mothers or fathers, biological or adoptive parents.


  • Ensuring Financial Stability for Hard-Working Families – Six weeks of paid parental leave would ensure that no state employee would be forced to go without a paycheck in order to care for or bond with his or her newborn or newly-adopted child.


  • Better Health Outcomes for Families – Studies have shown that paid parental leave policies, like the one proposed by Governor Dayton, produce better health outcomes for both parents and children, including increased birth weight and lower rates of infant mortality.


MMA was at the table:

For the past six months, the Dayton Administration has convened a Parental Leave Working Group along with several organizations representing state employees, including Minnesota Management and Budget, the State’s Human Resources Directors, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE), the Middle Management Association (MMA), and AFSCME Minnesota. Based on the recommendations of this working group, Governor Dayton’s supplemental budget proposal will include six weeks of paid parental leave for all state employees following the birth or adoption of a child.


Topics: Negotiations

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