Mayor Hodges Lauds Movement on Earned Sick and Safe Time
City Council Discusses at Special Meeting
May 5, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) — The Minneapolis City Council held a special meeting of the Committee of the Whole today to discuss a draft ordinance for a municipal earned sick leave policy and a set of recommendations for a program to administer that policy.
“I am very pleased that earned sick and safe time for Minneapolis workers is one step closer to reality after I first proposed it a year ago,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “I proposed it because in Minneapolis, people should never have to choose between caring for themselves or their family members and going to work — no one should every have to choose between being sick and being paid. This carefully crafted ordinance balances the needs of workers and their families — especially low-income workers, who are disproportionately people of color — with the needs of our businesses, especially the small businesses that are an important driver of our economic growth.”
“We are on the verge of enacting a policy that will improve public health for everyone and provide greater opportunity for low-income families, and listening and collaborating has gotten us there. I want to thank the Workplace Partnership Group, a diverse group of stakeholders that the City Council and I appointed to listen to stakeholders and offer recommendations to us. Collectively, they invested thousands of hours to engage a wide range of businesses, economic sectors, non-profits, and workers. More than 500 people attended their many listening sessions and provided invaluable advice, perspective, and feedback. I particularly would like to thank my appointees to the group: Liz Doyle of TakeAction Minnesota, Jim Rowader of Target Corporation, and Danny Schwartzman of Common Roots.”
“A special note to our businesses: we heard you that you need more support from the City. I ran for Mayor on making it easier for businesses to grow by making it easier to do business with the City, and the Business Made Simple initiative that I started has been making good progress in eliminating barriers and streamlining processes, in cooperation with the City Council and City leadership. There is much more to do and we are committed to doing it. Minneapolis can be, is, and will be a city where workers and businesses of all sizes thrive together.”
In Minneapolis, 42% of workers lack access to earned sick and safe time. Research shows that lack of access disproportionately affects women and people of color. For example, 63% of white workers in Minneapolis have access to earned sick and safe time, compared with only 32% of Latino workers.
Every year in the United States, workplaces lose $250 billion in productivity due to illness — but 72% of that amount, or $180 billion, is because people come to work sick. Research shows that on average, one sick employee on the job will create one sick employee.
A 2015 Minnesota Department of Health report shows that 79% of workers in the food–preparation and food-serving sector lack paid sick time – and that from 2004–2013, there were nearly 3,000 cases of food-borne illnesses traced to 200 food workers who were ill or had recently been ill on the job.
Published May 5, 2016