St. Paul’s city council has unanimously approved the Earned Safe and Sick Time ordinance granting more than a week of paid sick leave to all employees in the city. The ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2017, the same day a new paid leave ordinance goes into effect in Minneapolis.
Employees who have worked for an employer for at least 80 hours will accrue sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees may earn up to 48 hours of sick and safe time per year.
Unused leave can be rolled over into the coming year, but employees may not accumulate more than 80 hours of leave.
An employer that already has a paid time off program that permits leave for the same reasons as the new law is considered to be in compliance and does not have to provide additional leave.
Employees may take leave for their own medical needs or that of a family member. The ordinance broadly defines family, even including “any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”
Additionally, victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking may take time off to “seek medical attention related to physical or psychological injury or disability,” obtain services from a victim services agency, obtain counseling or psychological treatment, relocate or take legal action related to the abuse, assault or stalking.
Employers may request documentation supporting employees’ leave requests and should do so in order to prevent leave abuse.
Note: Twin Cities employers should note that the St. Paul and Minneapolis ordinances differ slightly. For example, the Minneapolis ordinance only applies to employers with six or more employees while St. Paul’s covers any organization with at least one employee.