It’s time to pass Paid Sick Time
At TakeAction Minnesota, we believe every person has inherent worth and dignity. We all deserve care and the tools we need to meet our highest family responsibilities. No one should have to choose between caring for themselves or a loved one and earning a paycheck. During this unprecedented pandemic, we are fighting for Earned Sick and Safe Time and 21st century care infrastructure that includes Paid Family and Medical Leave, long-term care public insurance, and child care.
What is paid sick time?
Minnesota’s Earned Sick and Safe Time bill (H.F.7) would allow workers to accrue up to 48 hours of paid sick time per year as an employment benefit. Paid sick time means being able to comfort a sick child, go to the doctor, take time off to get a COVID test, or seek safety without having to worry about losing pay or getting fired. It means being able to stay home when you’re sick, so the people you work with or provide services to don’t get sick. And, it means healthier families and communities.
Learn more about the difference between Earned Sick and Safe Time, Paid Family Medical Leave, and Emergency Leave for Essential Workers (three bills the Minnesota Legislature will consider this session).
Why does it matter?
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that we are all connected – and that paid sick time is a public health issue. Without it, millions of families have faced unnecessary financial hardship as a direct result of the pandemic and have shown up to work sick or COVID-19 positive because they had no other choice.
For the average working person without access to paid sick time, missing work can devastate the family budget. According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, missing just half a day of work can mean giving up a month’s worth of spending on fruits and vegetables. Being gone two days is a month of gas. A whole week can amount to a month’s rent or a mortgage payment.
Paid sick time is a matter of justice for the multi-racial working class.
Women, people of color, and low-wage workers in the retail, hospitality, service, and care industry – working people who’ve kept our society functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic – are most likely to be denied this basic workplace standard. According to the Economic Policy Institute, only 27 percent of private sector workers earning the bottom 10 percent of wages have access to paid sick days. Black and Latinx people are less likely to have access to paid sick time compared to white people. Lack of access to paid sick time has a greater impact on women who are more likely to manage family healthcare needs.
For years, women, people of color, and working people have organized for this basic workplace standard — and we are winning.
Twelve states and D.C. have passed statewide sick time laws. In Minnesota, we’ve won local sick time ordinances in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth. Together, we can win paid sick time across the state.
When we organize, we win. Lawmakers need to hear from YOU.