MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many companies in Minneapolis and St. Paul will be required to provide paid sick time for workers starting July 1.
Employees who qualify can earn up to six days, or 48 hours, off — and it’s all thanks to ordinances passed last year.
Workers will earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.
Although the two cities have similar goals, there are differences in the laws.
With patios packed up and down Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall, it’s clearly the summer season — which means it’s no longer flu season.
But if workers do happen to get sick two weeks from now, it’s likely they will be paid to stay at home.
“I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” said Minneapolis resident David Copa.
Angela Nalezny, human resources director for St. Paul, says the big change in her city will include temporary and seasonal employees.
“It is a big deal, especially when you have a family, but even if you’re single,” Nalezny said.
She says rather than wait for July 1, a new paid sick leave policy for city workers started January 1.
“They’re going to get sick just like I would,” she said. “Their kids may get sick or spouse or whoever.”
In St. Paul, federal, state, county workers are exempt from the new law. But any business with 24 or more workers must start paid sick leave on July 1. Twenty-three or fewer employees and they can wait until January of 2018.
In Minneapolis, businesses with six or more workers must have paid sick leave. Those with five or fewer must have sick leave, but there’s no requirement that it be paid.
“For the big cities like this, I think that’s a good idea,” Copa said.
Not everyone is excited about the change. The manager at a St. Paul restaurant told WCCO off camera that while employees are happy, management is not.
Businesses will be required to track hours worked and sick time accrued, and the new costs will likely affect their bottom line. But some companies still feel it’s money well spent.
Besides sick time, the new law also includes safe time. For example, if a person was in a domestic violence situation and needed to arrange medical appointments or services, they could take time off.
St. Paul is also offering up an Excel spread sheet program to help business better track hours and sick time.