Minneapolis Close To Implementing Paid Sick Leave

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis is one step closer to implementing a paid sick leave policy.

Right now, it’s estimated more than 100,000 people working in the city don’t get paid sick time. The Minneapolis City Council held a meeting Thursday morning to possibly change that.

The fight for paid sick time in Minneapolis has lasted more than a year. Under the recommendations, paid sick leave would apply to employers with six or more employees in the city of Minneapolis.

Thursday morning, city council members heard and discussed the draft ordinance detailing the workplace paid sick time policy. Under the proposal, workers would generate one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. The plan would require businesses to provide 48 hours a year in paid sick leave.

If employees don’t use their sick time, the proposal mandates they would be allowed to carry over up to 80 hours to the next calendar year. The sick time would only be available after 90 days of employment. Workers could also take the time off to care for ill family members.

Opponents have said the policy will hurt small businesses. Supporters call the recommendations a modest compromise, but still a step in the right direction.

“It is very, very important that the language for this ordinance remains strong and that it includes all workers in the city of Minneapolis as others have said that no-one should have to choose between going to work sick or taking care of a family member or losing pay,” said Stephanie Gasca of Central de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha.

A date for the final vote has not been set, but if Thursday’s draft ordinance is approved the goal would be to implement the policy next July.

The city recommends that the Civil Rights Department implement and enforce the paid sick leave, as well as investigate possible violations.

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