Letter: Minnesota wants family medical depart

As a mother, grandmother, and retired nurse, I value the health and safety of our Minnesota families. Our future depends on the support our families receive during important life transitions like giving birth to a child or caring for a sick loved one, as so many have done during this pandemic. Therefore, I support the Paid Family and Sick Leave Act (MN House File 1200 and MN Senate File 1205).

Why is this needed? Small businesses have modest results, so they struggle to find more generous paid vacation benefits from larger employers. This leads to a disadvantage in hiring and retention.

We recently supported our daughter and husband as they took unpaid time to care for their newborn baby. Their employers did not offer paid family leave beyond their unused sickness / vacation time. We strongly believe that at this critical stage of development and bonding, all parents need to take paid time off to care for their newborns.

That bill would create an employee and employer sponsored family vacation insurance program in Minnesota. The employer’s and employee’s wage and salary contributions would go to an insurance fund, and each employee would be entitled to up to 12 weeks of vacation.

Our compassionate lawmakers have expressed great concern about Minnesotans during this pandemic. I urge Sens. Carla Nelson and Dave Senjem to support this legislation. This way they can show their support for all workers in Minnesota.

Patty Trnka, Rochester

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