Overview of Paid Sick Time Laws in the United States:

Updated on May 24, 2023

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Who is covered? Note: City/county paid sick time laws cannot cover state government workers, and city, county, and state paid sick time laws cannot cover federal government workers. Workers employed in Minnesota who work at least 80 hours in a year are covered. The law exempts: independent contractors; and flight deck/cabin crews who are subject to the Railway Labor Act, work less than a majority of their hours in Minnesota in a calendar year, and are provided with an amount of paid leave equal to or exceeding this law.
Can sick time be used to care for loved ones? Yes: children; spouses or registered domestic partners; siblings; parents; grandchildren, grandparents; children of an employee’s sibling (e.g., niece/nephew); sibling of an employee’s parent (e.g., aunt/uncle). Sick time can also be used to care for: any of the family members listed above of an employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner; any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship; and up to one additional individual annually designated by the employee.
How is “child” defined? An employee’s child, foster child, adult child, legal ward, child for whom the employee is the legal guardian, child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, or an individual to whom employee stood in loco parentis while that person was a minor. The law also covers children-in-law or any child listed above of an employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner.
Can sick time be used for specific “safe time” purposes (related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking)? Yes, when the worker or the worker’s family member is the victim.
Can sick time be used under the law to bond with a new child and/or deal with a family member’s death? Note: It is possible that other laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act or a state equivalent, could provide eligible workers with unpaid leave for these purposes. No.
Can sick time be used when a worker’s place of work or child’s school/place of care is closed by public health officials for a public health emergency? Yes. The law also allows workers time off if their place of business is closed due to weather or if they need to care for a family member whose school/place of care is closed due to weather.
Rate at which workers earn paid sick time? 1 hour for every 30 hours worked
Do workers have different sick time-related rights based on the size of their employer? If so, based on what employer-size threshold(s)? No.
Amount of paid sick time that can be earned under the law per year? (Note: All of these paid sick time laws make it clear that these laws establish a minimum requirement, and employers can provide greater or more generous paid sick time benefits to their workers.) Up to 48 hours of paid sick time per year.
When do workers begin to earn paid sick time? At the commencement of employment or once the law takes effect on January 1, 2024. Workers may use paid sick time as it is accrued.
Does unused sick time carry forward to the subsequent year? Yes, workers are entitled to carry forward unused paid sick time and shall continue to accrue paid sick time up to a total of 80 hours at any time. Carry forward of unused paid sick time is not required if an employer either: provides the worker with 48 hours of paid sick time for immediate use at the beginning of the subsequent year and the employer pays the worker for their accrued but unused paid sick time at the end of the year; or provides the worker with 80 hours of paid sick time for immediate use at the beginning of the subsequent year if the employer does not pay the worker for their accrued but unused paid sick time at the end of the year.
Private Right of Action to go to Court? Yes.
Are there waivers/ exemptions for workers covered by a valid Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)? The law’s paid sick time requirements won’t apply to workers in the building/construction industry covered by a CBA (with a bona fide building and construction trades labor organization that has established itself as the collective bargaining representative for the affected building and construction industry employees) that expressly waives the requirements in clear and unambiguous terms.
What Agency or Official Enforces the Law? The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
For the statewide paid sick time laws: can cities in the state pass paid sick time laws that are broader than the state law? Yes.
Statutory Citation(s) Minnesota Statutes § 181.9445 et seq.
Additional Notes This law will take effect January 1, 2024.
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