Local Business Owner Raises Concerns About Possible Paid Sick Time Mandate
A new bill is making headway in the Minnesota legislature that would provide paid sick leave to all workers in Minnesota.
The Earned Sick and Safe Time bill, HF19, would require employers across the state to pay workers for short-term absences, including physical or mental illness, domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking or quarantine due to exposure to infectious disease.
According to the bill, employees will be eligible for the benefit after being at a job for 80 hours. Workers would accrue paid sick time at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked.
“Establishing paid family and medical leave and earned sick and safe time helps families and our workplaces prepare,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan while visiting a business in Plymouth last week.
Local business owners, however, have raised concerns.
Joe Piket, who owns Primrose child care centers in Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park, says most of his workers receive paid time off after six months on the job.
Piket says he doesn’t want the state involved in the benefits packages businesses offer. He worries if employees are offered paid leave right away some might abuse that privilege.
“My experience with new employees is a lot them are going to use it quickly if they know they’ve got it and they’re going to say ‘I’m sick’ or ‘I don’t feel well’ or ‘I need a mental health day’ and I can’t question it or ask for proof,” says Piket.
The paid sick time bill is separate from the paid family and medical leave bill which would give employees up to 12 weeks off due to a serious health condition or caring for a newborn baby.