New year, new law changes


Wage and Hour Bulletin

January 2022

New law goes into effect expanding workplace protections for expectant, new parents

Milk pump sitting on table

Minnesota is now the third state to offer paid break time for nursing and lactating employees to express milk at work.

Following Georgia and Illinois, effective Jan. 1, 2022, employers in Minnesota will no longer be allowed to reduce an employee’s compensation for break times used to express milk at work.

"Minnesota is a leader in offering paid break time for nursing and lactating employees to express milk at work," said Commissioner Roslyn Robertson, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). "This new law is a win-win for expectant and new parents, their children and Minnesota employers."

The law change also allows more pregnant employees – those who work for an employer with 15 or more employees – to have the right to request and receive a pregnancy accommodation in the workplace, such as more frequent restroom, food and water breaks and limits to heavy lifting.

Under the new law, an estimated 27,000 more workers in Minnesota will be able to request and receive a pregnancy accommodation in the workplace.

The new law expands provisions of the Women's Economic Security Act (WESA), which was passed in 2014 to strengthen workplace protections and flexibility for expectant and new parents, among other priorities.

"All of these updates allow our hard-working new parents to successfully combine working and breastfeeding and provide the healthiest start possible for their babies without additional financial burden for the family," said Linda Kopecky, interim executive director of the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition.

In addition to ensuring compliance with wage and hour laws, DLI also conducts outreach to educate workers and employers about their workplace rights and responsibilities under the law, including partnering with organizations such as the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition.

Learn more about workplace rights and protections for new and expectant parents at


New minimum-wage rates

Minnesota's minimum-wage rates were adjusted for inflation beginning Jan. 1, 2022, to $10.33 an hour for large employers and $8.42 an hour for other state minimum wages. Learn more about minimum wage in Minnesota.


Labor Standards serves the people of Minnesota by providing
information about the state's wage, hour and employment laws.

Phone:  651-284-5075 or 800-342-5354