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Legal Update Article

Minnesota Amends Lactation Breaks, Pregnancy Accommodations Provisions

The start of the new year is a great time for Minnesota employers to review their policies and practices for compliance with the state’s Lactation Breaks and Pregnancy Accommodations laws.

Lactation Breaks

Employers are required to provide employees who need to express breast milk for their infant child reasonable break times each day. Beginning January 1, 2022, the amendments prohibit employers from reducing an employee’s compensation for time used for the purpose of expressing milk. Additionally, the amendments limit an employer’s obligation to the 12 months following the birth of the child.

Pregnancy Accommodations

The amendments also merged the provisions governing lactation breaks and pregnancy accommodations into one section, Minnesota Statute Section 181.939. This means that, beginning January 1, 2022, employers with at least 15 employees (previously, 21 employees) are covered under the pregnancy accommodations provision. Additionally, there are no longer any length of time or average number of hours per week an employee must satisfy to qualify for the accommodation rights and protections under the statute.

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