Last week, the DFL-led Minnesota House passed a landmark bill that would ensure all Minnesotans – regardless of income, race or zip code – can access Earned Sick and Safe Time.
Together, we’ve won paid sick days in three Minnesota cities, but 36 percent of workers still do not have this basic tool – including thousands of front-line workers, women, people of color, and low-wage workers have put their lives on the line during this pandemic. HF 7, championed by Rep. Liz Olson (DFL-Duluth), ensures all workers can accrue up to 48 hours of paid sick time per year as an employment benefit.
That means working Minnesotans would not have to risk their livelihoods to:
- Get a COVID test or vaccine
- Recover from illness at home to keep coworkers and customers safe
- Pick up a sick child from school
- Seek safety from domestic abuse or sexual assault
- Take care of children in the event of a snow day or other school closure
- Be with a loved one at the hospital
During floor debate on the bill, Majority Leader Rep. Ryan Winkler pointed out that it’s time to modernize our policies around care. “Our workplace policies still reflect a 1950s-era industrial mindset,” he said. “The fact is [Minnesotans] need workplace policies that allow them to stay in their jobs as they care for their families.”
Earned Sick and Safe Time for all Minnesotans is one piece of a bigger vision for a caring economy that puts people at the center – not profit. COVID-19 has shown us that our health and wellbeing are connected, and that Earned Sick and Safe Time is a public health issue.
We are encouraged by Governor Walz’ decision to include the measure in his recommended budget for the 2022-23 biennium. Follow us on Twitter for updates on what happens next with this bill.
In the meantime, let’s celebrate this win, leaders like Rep. Olson, and the TakeAction members like Raye Perez and Devin Helmick who boldly shared their stories at the Capitol this session to push this bill forward!