Last month, we won a huge victory for all workers in Minneapolis—paid sick time! Our success was not only a historic achievement for workers in Minneapolis. We set the bar nationally for paid sick time benefits. Thanks to the hard work of organizers over the last year, Minneapolis now has some of the strongest sick time protections for workers of any city in the country.
Here’s what our organizing accomplished:
1. Workers can earn up to 48 hours of paid sick time per year. For every 30 hours worked, you earn 1 hour of sick and safe time. The hours you earn accumulate. And you can use those banked hours if you or a family member gets sick.
- In most cities, workers can only earn 40 hours a year. In Minneapolis, workers can earn a full day of sick time benefits more.
2. There’s no cap on usage. What good are earned sick time hours if you can’t use them? In some places, workers can earn up to 40 hours, but employers are only required to allow them to use 24. In Minneapolis, workers can use all of the hours they earn.
3. Unused hours roll over into the next year, up to 80 hours. If you make it through a year and somehow don’t get sick (congratulations!), you don’t lose those paid sick time hours you earned. Up to 80 banked hours can be rolled over into the next year.
- Elsewhere, workers can earn sick time hours, but they don’t necessarily roll over, or if they do workers can only keep 56 or 72 hours. Minneapolis workers can roll over 80.
4. The paid sick time protections also cover “safe time.” Safe time is time off from work to recovering from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
- In many cities with sick time protections, people suffering from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking are unable to take time off from work to heal after an assault or access legal services. This leaves people who are already suffering from the effects of violence vulnerable at work. In Minneapolis, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are protected by the sick and safe time ordinance.
5. Paid sick time benefits not only protect workers when they get sick, but also cover workers when a family member gets sick.
- Minneapolis’ definition of a family is broader and more inclusive than other cities’ definition of a family. Our ordinance protects workers who are caring for their own children (biological or adopted), foster children, adult children, spouses, siblings, parents, in-laws, grandparents, grandchildren, wards, other members of the household, and domestic partners.
6. Paid sick time benefits can be used when schools close for a snow day. Minneapolis’ working parents no longer have to scramble for child care when schools close due to snow or other inclement weather.
7. All workers have some protection—no exemptions. Regardless of industry or prior collective bargaining agreement, all workers are covered by the new ordinance. That includes home health care workers and union members with other negotiated benefits.
Minneapolis’ new sick and safe time ordinance is a huge victory for all workers in our city. It shows that when we fight, we win!