Group to vote Monday on paid sick leave recommendations

Members of the Workplace Partnership Group discuss a draft of recommendations for a paid sick time policy in Minneapolis. Photo by Sarah McKenzie

A city work group is scheduled to vote Monday on a proposal recommending the City Council adopt a mandatory paid sick-time ordinance for employers with at least four workers in Minneapolis.

The group will then forward the recommendations to the Council’s Committee of the Whole for its consideration on Wednesday, March 16.

The 19-member Workplace Partnership Group, which includes workers, organized labor, employers and representatives of business groups, has been holding community listening sessions and meetings for several weeks. The City Council voted to establish the group to study paid sick time policies and come up with recommendations for the city in October.

A draft of the recommendations calls for a mandatory citywide paid sick time ordinance that would give workers the ability to accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers would have the ability to cap paid sick time to 48 hours a year for a worker.

Again, it would apply to employers with at least three employees in Minneapolis. Small employers with 24 or fewer employees would have an additional six months to implement the policy after its effective date.

The group is also expected to recommend the Council postpone the effective date of the ordinance for at least six months after it’s passed.

The ordinance would impact about 75,000 Minneapolis residents who also work in the city and 225,000 Minneapolis workers who live outside the city, according to a draft of the recommendations.

About 40 percent of the city’s workers lack access to paid sick days.

Minneapolis Downtown Council CEO Steve Cramer, a member of the Workplace Partnership Group, told the panel Wednesday that he would likely be voting against the recommendations.

Cramer said the proposal doesn’t reflect the opinions of the broader business community who have concerns about the City of Minneapolis enacting a paid sick time ordinance on its own, making it an outlier in the region.

The City of St. Paul also has a task force looking into a paid sick leave ordinance.

Earlier this week, House DFL lawmakers Peggy Flanagan of St. Louis Park and Jason Metsa of Virginia introduced paid family leave legislation this week that would create a new insurance program that would provide all Minnesota workers with a portion of their pay up to 12 weeks for pregnancy and medical issues and 12 weeks to care for a new child or seriously ill family member.