To: Governor Tim Walz; Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic; Speaker Melissa Hortman
Cc: Sen. Sandy Pappas; Rep. Liz Olson
Date: April 13, 2023
Re: Earned Sick and Safe Time (SF 34 / HF 19)
We have a strong commitment to the health and economic well-being of families and working people in Minnesota. The past few years have shone a spotlight on the underlying weaknesses and inequities within Minnesota’s economy: far too many families, particularly families of color, lack the support needed to care for their loved ones or themselves. Together, we have the opportunity to build a family-friendly economy for all Minnesotans and emerge stronger from the public health crisis.
We are asking you to pass Earned Sick and Safe Time (“ESST”) as a standalone bill as soon as possible.
As Minnesotans, we care deeply about each other. No matter where we live, we are united by the aspirations we share and the love we have for our families. Every person has inherent worth and dignity. But too many working people are left behind and forced to make impossible economic choices.
For thousands of Minnesotans, ESST provides flexibility so they can meet their highest responsibilities. It ensures people can live and work with dignity. Taking our parents to the doctor’s office to get test results. Resting when illness strikes instead of working a double shift. Picking up a sick child when the nurse’s office calls in the middle of our shift. Leaving our abuser to get safety or court protection. Dealing with the tridemic that’s currently impacting the nation.
It should not cost us so much to balance work and life. No one—particularly essential workers who kept our communities and society functioning during the height of the pandemic and since then—should have to worry about taking care of themselves or a loved one and missing a paycheck or getting fired.
We are better off when everyone has the tools they need to build a good life. Guaranteeing that every working person in our state has access to paid time to care for themselves and loved ones is one of those necessary tools. ESST is also good for public health and small businesses. It limits the spread of contagious illnesses and levels the playing field for employers.
Together we can build a family-friendly economy and build on local and national progress. Four cities in Minnesota—Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Duluth, and Bloomington—have already passed common-sense ESST ordinances. Across the country, 16 states have passed ESST laws.
- ESST provides a basic workplace standard to meet the health and financial needs of Minnesotans when they or a loved one get sick, require care, or need safety from domestic abuse, stalking, or sexual assault;
- Workers may earn up to 48 hours of job-protected paid sick time each year which are accrued over time and may be carried over to the following year.
Let’s honor hard work and choose a better, healthier future for all Minnesotans. It is the right thing to do.
The Awood Center
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL)
Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota
Communities Organizing Power and Actions for Latinos (COPAL)
Faith in Minnesota
Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia
Jewish Community Action
Land Stewardship Project
Local Progress MN
Main Street Alliance
Minnesota Associations of Professional Employees (MAPE)
Minnesota Budget Project
Minnesota Catholic Conference
Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless
Minnesota Nurses Association
SEIU Local 284
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota
SEIU Minnesota State Council
Sierra Club North Star Chapter
Violence Free Minnesota
Voices for Racial Justice