Guaranteed paid sick time for all MN employees? It may be coming

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Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill that would guarantee paid sick time for basically all workers in Minnesota.

The bill (SF 481), which was introduced in the Senate Monday, would make Minnesota the fourth state in the U.S. to let all employees to earn paid sick time, MPR News reports. (Read the state's current paid sick time law here.)

Employers would have to offer at least one hour of time off for every 30 hours worked, whether someone is a full- or part-time employee. Workers would start earning the paid leave after three months on the job.

Businesses with 21 or fewer employees would be required to allow workers to accrue up to 40 hours of sick time, while larger employers would have to allow up to 72 hours.

Employees can use this banked sick leave for personal illness, to care for a sick family member, or to deal with problems that stem from domestic abuse, sexual assault or a stalker.

Will it actually become law?

Rep. John Lesch, a Democrat from St. Paul who co-authored the bill, is optimistic it will pass this year, noting the bill has bipartisan support, the Duluth News Tribune says. He's been working to pass similar legislation since 2007.

This bill is expected to help over 1 million workers (41 percent of Minnesota's workforce) who lack access to paid sick leave, the Institute for Women's Policy Research says.

People advocating for paid sick time kicked off a campaign in Duluth Tuesday to back the proposed bill, WDIO reports.

Duluth was picked for the "Minnesota Benefits" kickoff because the Institute for Women's Policy Research says people in southeast St. Louis County, including workers in Duluth and Hermantown, are the least likely to have paid sick time – fewer than half the workers there have access to such benefits.

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