Minnesota House Passes Paid Sick Bill
The Minnesota House passed earned sick and safe time for workers after a seven hour debate on Thursday night.
The legislation would ensure at a minimum, one hour of paid earned sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours a year.
Under the bill, Earned Sick and Safe Time could be used for the following purposes:
- To attend to the worker’s physical and mental health needs, including illness, injury or doctor’s appointment
- To attend to the physical and mental health needs of a family member (including illness, injury or appointment)
- Absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of the worker or a family member
- If the worker’s job site is closed because of weather or a public emergency, or if a family member’s school is closed
- If the health authorities have determined that the worker or his/her family needs to stay at home because they could jeopardize the health of others (like a pandemic)
Rep. Kristin Robbins (R-Maple Grove) voted against the bill, saying it would hurt small businesses and restaurants in her district. She referenced an email she received from a small business that suffered during COVID.
“I don’t know why the government is making the choice for my employees instead of us working together,” said Robbins, in paraphrasing the concerns of the business. “That’s the heart of our concern about this bill, members. It takes away the flexibility for people to design what works best for them.”
The bill passed in a 69 to 54 vote. Duluth, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Bloomington already require employers to provide the benefit. The matter now goes to the house.
You can watch the full debate here.