Workplace Partnership Group granted extension for paid sick time recommendations

The Workplace Regulations Partnership Group has been given more time to prepare recommendations for a mandatory citywide paid sick time policy.

The city-appointed group is now expected to deliver its report to the City Council’s Committee of the Whole on Wednesday, March 16.

The City Council initially gave the group a deadline of Feb. 24 after voting to create the 15-member committee Oct. 23.

Group chair Liz Doyle, associate director of TakeAction Minnesota, said the committee needs more time to reflect on research about paid sick policies in comparable cities, potential impacts throughout the metro area and the “significant volume” of public feedback gathered during listening sessions held throughout Minneapolis.

“The additional time would enable us to refine our recommendations and provide time to reflect those recommendations to the various stakeholder groups that the partnership was designed to represent,” Doyle wrote to the Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, chair of the Committee of the Whole. “At the same time, the partnership is keenly aware our work is of significant interest to the community, and we are sensitive to the need not to delay our work much beyond the original due date.”

Mayor Betsy Hodges first outlined a vision for paid sick time for all Minneapolis workers as part of a Working Families Agenda in April 2015. The Council later passed a resolution calling on city staff to develop policy proposals supporting paid sick time, fair scheduling and wage theft prevention. Staff were also directed to study establishing a minimum wage locally and regionally.

So far, the paid sick proposal has the most momentum.

About 40 percent of Minneapolis workers lack access to paid sick days, according to city leaders, and they are disproportionately women and people of color.