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House forwards a hike in minimum wage, unpaid leave, 40-hour work weeks for all

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota legislature Updated: April 29, 2013 - 3:32 PM

Minnesota lawmakers are looking to make 40 hours of work standard for all Minnesota workers, give them more family leave and increase their wages.

The current Minnesota law sets all three measures below the federal standards, which results in a patchwork of rules for state employers.

Under current law, about 80,000 to 115,000 Minnesota employees get overtime only after working 48 hours and workers at about 8,500 small businesses only have a right to six weeks of family leave. If the measure, approved in committee on Monday becomes law, all of those workers would get overtime after 40 hours and would have a right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

The measure approved Monday would also raise the Minnesota minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2015 for employees at large businesses. Right now, most Minnesota employees earn at least the federal minimum of $7.25 because the state wage minimum is just $6.15 an hour.

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