Victory: Minnesota Governor Signs Robust New State Paid Sick Time Program into Law!

Great news from Minnesota: Governor Walz has signed a strong new statewide paid sick time law!
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Today marks an incredible victory for Minnesota workers as Governor Tim Walz signed a strong statewide paid sick time law that will mean workers will not need to risk their jobs and livelihood to care for their own or their family’s health. This victory builds on nearly a decade of work passing paid sick time laws in the major cities of the state: Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Duluth and Bloomington. The statewide law brings these protections to nearly all workers in the state regardless of business size and covers a broad range of purposes, including leave for personal or family health needs (including preventive care); safety leave for purposes related to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of an employee or employee’s family member; certain public health emergency needs; and closure of the employee’s place of business or a family member’s school or place of care due to weather or other public emergency. 

These robust new paid sick time protections are the result of years of dedicated work from our coalition partners, including the SEIU Minnesota State Council and Take Action MN. We have been proud to work together with these incredible advocates providing legal drafting, policy and strategic support as we passed local laws and defended them in the courts. Minnesota is the latest in a string of states—New Mexico, Colorado, and New York—that has passed a strong statewide paid sick time guarantee for all workers.

Starting January 1, 2024, workers can earn up to 48 hours of paid sick time per year—and carry over unused sick time up to a bank of 80 hours—which can be used as soon as it is earned without a waiting period. The law includes strong enforcement and non-retaliation protections to ensure workers can exercise their rights without fear, and also explicitly provides for outreach grants to community organizations to help educate workers about their new rights.

Excitingly, this new law also includes one of the strongest, most inclusive family member definitions passed to date in a paid sick time law, explicitly allowing time off to be used to care for children and parents (broadly defined), spouses and domestic partners, grandparents and grandchildren, siblings, children and parents of siblings, a broad set of in-law relationships, one additional designated individual per year beyond these listed relationships, and any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. 

Additionally, the new law does not preempt local paid sick time laws, which ensures that local governments throughout the state can build upon this baseline right with even stronger paid sick time protections and expand paid sick time access in the future. 

This news comes along with Minnesota’s state legislature also passing a strong paid family and medical leave insurance law this month, which the Governor will be signing shortly and which ABB has been proud to help support in recent years. Minnesota’s paid family and medical leave bill—the thirteenth in the country—will provide additional crucial benefits for workers across the state who need to take longer-term leave to address their own serious health needs, welcome a new child, or care for a family member with a serious health condition. We are heartened to see in action just how local progress can pave the way for strong statewide work-family protections such as paid sick time, and we remain dedicated to working at all levels of government to extend the right to paid sick time to as many workers as possible as we continue fighting for the protections working families across the country need and deserve.

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