February 9, 2021
VIA ELECTRONIC DELIVERY
Hon. Rob Ecklund
Chair, Labor, Industry, Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee
Minnesota House of Representatives
RE: Support for H.F. 7 (Olson) (Earned Sick and Safe Time)
Chair Ecklund and Members of the Committee,
The Minnesota Catholic Conferences is the public policy voice for the Catholic Church in Minnesota. We write to express our support for H.F. 7 because we believe allowing employees to earn one hour of paid ESS time for every 30 hours worked would not only help family life, but also send the message that children and families are real priorities within our society.
Illness in one’s life or family is inevitable. Caring for newborns, children, the sick, and the elderly (and being cared for ourselves) is a privileged place in which we grow as persons and in our own humanity. It is an integral part of family life that must be respected and promoted.
Unfortunately, many working people are forced to make impossible financial choices between caring for themselves or a loved one and missing a paycheck or even getting fired. According to one estimate, approximately 1.1 million Minnesotans, or 41 percent of the state’s workforce, face this situation because their jobs do not offer earned sick leave.[i]
As fewer full-time jobs are created and companies restructure employment practices around part-time opportunities without benefits, developing earned leave policies is especially important.[ii] Public policy should protect people who must take time away from their jobs to handle serious family responsibilities. Working people need the security to know that they have at least some time to recover from illness or care for family members without forfeiting their means of self-sufficiency and sustenance. We encourage you to stand up for the dignity of the human person and protect the laborer by aligning our state’s employment laws with the common good. Please vote AYE on favorable passage of H.F. 7.
We appreciate your consideration and are grateful for your work on behalf of all Minnesotans.
Ryan E. Hamilton, Esq.
Government Relations Associate
[i] Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “Access to Paid Sick Time in Minnesota,” September 2014, available at https://iwpr.org/publications/access-to-paid-sick-time-in-minnesota/.
[ii] Ibrahim Hirsi, “Why Minnesota has so many non-full-time jobs — and why that’s both good and bad for the economy,” MinnPost, October 17, 2017, available at https://www.minnpost.com/good-jobs/2017/10/why-minnesota-has-so-many-non-full-time-jobs-and-why-s-both-good-and-bad-economy/.