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RELEASE: Rep. Olson’s Earned Sick & Safe Time proposal headed to Gov. Walz’s desk

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the conference committee report for the Jobs and Labor budget bill, reflecting a compromise between the House and Senate. The legislation includes legislation authored by Rep. Liz Olson (DFL – Duluth) to expand Earned Sick and Safe Time benefits to all Minnesota workers.

“I’m thrilled Earned Sick and Safe Time is on the verge of becoming law in this state. The ability to take care of yourself when you’re sick, to take care of a sick child, or to go to the doctor without forgoing a paycheck should be a basic expectation for all Minnesota workers,” Rep. Olson said. “This bill is one important step forward to level the playing field in an economy tilted against working families. I’m incredibly proud of the workers and allies who – in the face of powerful opposition – put in the hard work to tell stories and share the impact the new law would have on families to help them thrive.”

Over 900,000 Minnesota workers – a third of the state’s workforce – lack access to any paid time off when they or a family member are ill or need to see a doctor. 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 their family needs to stay at home because they could jeopardize the health of others (like a pandemic)

Duluth, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Bloomington already require employers to provide the benefit, while Minnesota now joins 16 other states guaranteeing it statewide.