Many Minnesota workers need to use sick leave, whether it’s for themselves or to take care of a child or another family member. But not all employers offer paid sick leave, which can put workers in a bind when they need unscheduled time off. Fortunately, the state recently passed a law that will require most employers to offer paid sick leave starting next year.
How the new law works
The new law takes effect on January 1, 2024. It states that employers must offer up to 48 hours of earned sick and safe time, also called ESST. Employees will accrue one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Nearly all part-time, full-time, and temporary employees will be able to take advantage of this new law, if they work for the same employer for 80 hours or more per year. Independent contractors are not covered under the law.
Employers of all sizes are required to comply with the new law. If an employee does not use their ESST, it may be rolled over into the next year, up to 80 hours. Employees may use this time for various reasons, including their own illness or injury, or the injury or illness of a family member. Employers may ask for documentation to prove the need when an employee takes sick leave.
Seek help if an employer is not following the law
Emergencies happen that may require one to take time off from work due to illness or to care for a family member. Now that Minnesota employers are required to provide paid time off, workers can have peace of mind that they will be able to take that time off when it’s needed. If an employee believes they are not being provided with the benefits outlined in the new law, they may wish to consult an employment law attorney to understand their legal options.