DFL legislators introduce bill guaranteeing paid sick time

John Lesch and Tiffany McDonald
Tiffany McDonald of Duluth speaks about how she lost her job because she had to care for her sick son as State Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, looks on.
Dan Kraker / MPR News

A coalition of labor, faith and community groups is hoping to make Minnesota the fourth state in the country to guarantee paid sick time off for workers.

"For those of us who have had paid time off, we often take it for granted," said Dan McGrath, executive director of TakeAction Minesota, one of the groups backing a bill introduced by DFL lawmakers this week. "But there are a million working people in our state who don't have that option."

State Rep. John Lesch of St. Paul coauthored the bill, which would require employers to offer at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. It would make all full- and part-time employees in the state eligible for the benefit after three months on the job.

"The people that don't get earned sick and safe leave are very much the people who we want to have it — people who handle your food, people who take care of your children," Lesch said. "So this is a common-sense policy."

According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, 41 percent of employees in Minnesota are not eligible for paid sick leave.

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