H.F. 2461 and S.F. 2105 would create a mandatory system for the accrual of paid “sick and safe time” (leave) for Minnesota employers. Currently, employers are not required by any state or federal law to provide for sick leave. Under the bill, covered employees would accrue a minimum of one hour of earned “sick and safe time” for every 30 hours worked. The bill would cap the amount of sick and safe time that can accrue in one calendar year at 72 hours for employers with 21 or more employees, unless the employer agrees to a higher amount. Employers with fewer than 21 employees would be able to use a cap of 40 hours per year. Accrual of the sick and safe time would begin immediately upon commencement of employment and employees would be entitled to use the time off beginning 90 calendar days following commencement of employment. The bill would provide for the carry-over of accrued sick and safe time from year to year.
Employers would be required to allow employees to use sick and safe time for any of the following:
- The employee’s own mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; need for medical diagnosis, care or treatment; or the need for preventive medical or health care.
- Care of a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling or extended family member with a mental or physical illness, who needs medical diagnosis, care or treatment, or who needs preventive medical care.
- Absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling or extended family member provided the absence is to seek medical treatment, obtain services from a victim services organization, obtain counseling, seek relocation due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking or take legal action.
- Closure of the employee’s place of business by order of a public official due to a public emergency or the employee’s need to care for a child whose school or daycare facility has been closed by an order of a public official due to a public emergency.
- The bill would allow employers to require reasonable notice of the need to use sick and safe time. Employers would not be allowed to require that the employee search for or find a replacement worker to cover the hours during which the employee is using sick and safe time. The bill would also prohibit retaliation against employees who use sick and safe time or complain or seek to enforce their rights to use sick and safe time.
Employers would be required to post a notice of the rights of employees to sick and safe time. The bill would also provide confidentiality protections for health information gathered with regard to the employee’s use of sick and safe time. Finally, the proposed law would not require reimbursement to employees upon the employee’s termination for accrued sick and safe time that has not been used.