Mayor Hodges Celebrates Adoption of Earned Sick and Safe Time for Minneapolis Workers
Mayor Proposed Earned Sick and Safe Time in 2015; Will Sign Ordinance
 
May 27, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Today the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would establish a municipal earned sick leave policy in Minneapolis. The ordinance, which the mayor proposed in her 2015 State of the City Speech as part of her Working Families Agenda, will guarantee workers across the city the ability to earn paid leave to care for themselves and their immediate family members, and to protect public health.
 
“Today, Minneapolis has recognized that no one should have to choose between being healthy and being paid. This is a landmark day for Minneapolis,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges.  “I proposed earned sick and safe time more than a year ago to improve public health for everyone and provide greater opportunity for low income families. I want to thank the Workplace Partnership Group, the diverse group of stakeholders that the City Council and I appointed to listen to stakeholders and offer recommendations to us on this issue. I thank the City Council for their thoughtful work and for passing this ordinance. And I thank the members of our community who fought so hard to get to this day.”
 
The ordinance passed today reflects a compromise that resulted from the Workplace Partnership Group process. Collectively, the Workplace Partnership Group invested thousands of hours to engage a wide range of businesses, economic sectors, non-profits, and workers. More than 500 people attended their many listening sessions and provided advice, perspective, and feedback.
 
Paid sick and safe time is intended to:
 
·         Ensure that workers can address their own health needs and the health needs of their families.
·         Reduce public and private health care costs by enabling workers to seek early and routine medical care for themselves and their family members.
·         Protect workers from losing their jobs while they use sick days.
·         Safeguard the public welfare, health, safety and prosperity of Minneapolis’ residents, workers and visitors.
 
In Minneapolis, 42% of workers lack access to earned sick and safe time. Research shows that lack of access disproportionately affects women and people of color. For example, 63% of white workers in Minneapolis have access to earned sick and safe time, compared with only 32% of Latino workers.
 
Every year in the United States, workplaces lose $250 billion in productivity due to illness — but 72% of that amount, or $180 billion, is because people come to work sick. Research shows that on average, one sick employee on the job will create one sick employee.
 
A 2015 Minnesota Department of Health report shows that 79% of workers in the food–preparation and food-serving sector lack paid sick time – and that from 2004–2013, there were nearly 3,000 cases of food-borne illnesses traced to 200 food workers who were ill or had recently been ill on the job.
 
The ordinance is posted here.
 
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Published May 27, 2016

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