ST. PAUL -- In the new year, Minnesota will become just the third state offering paid breaks to employees who are nursing or lactating.

This week the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry announced changes to the Women's Economic Security Act similar to those in place in Georgia and Illinois.

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Starting January 1st employers in the state will not be allowed to reduce pay for break times used to express milk at work. In addition, people who work for companies with 15 or more employees will be able to request pregnancy accommodations including bathroom, food, and water breaks more often, and limits to heavy lifting.

Department Commissioner Roslyn Robertson says the new laws will support the health of both parent and baby, and benefit employers by improving employee retention, loyalty, and productivity.

The Women’s Economic Security Act was originally enacted in Minnesota in 2014.

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