It is not uncommon for employees in Minnesota to become parents. Moreover, it is not rare for these new parents to seek time off from work in order to spend time with their newborn or newly adopted child. If an employer mistreats an employee or denies and employee’s request to take parenting leave, the employee could file a cause of action based on employment discrimination.

Last month, the members of the Minnesota Legislature introduced a new piece of legislation that could benefit working parents. It would impose significant new wage and hour requirements on the employers in the state of Minnesota. The Working Parent Act includes a new paid parenting and caregiver leave provision that would prevent discrimination against parents for taking time off to raise a new child.

The bill provides for flexible work arrangements, paid family leave and the right to rest. The Act would impose massive changes for employers and include several obligations that could have substantial effects on employees throughout the state. Moreover, the bill would prevent mistreatment of parents who are seeking to invoke their employment rights and protect employment rights of current or future parents.

If an employee is pregnant, expecting a child or is currently a parent, they should understand their current employment rights and how their rights will be enhanced by this new bill. Employees who believe they have suffered employment discrimination or mistreatment due to a requested or used parenting leave should understand their legal rights and options. This may result in a cause of action that could compensate them for the losses and damages incurred by this event.

Source: Minnesota State Legislature, Minnesota House of Representatives, “Working Parents Act,” accessed March 3, 2015