Duluth Paid Sick Time Law Advances

The Duluth, Minnesota City Council Monday night approved a handful of amendments to the proposed Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. The amended bill will get a second reading at the Council’s May 14 meeting.


Monday night’s amendments to the proposed ordinance include:

  • changing the accrual rate to one hour for each 40 hours worked (from one for each 30 hours worked);
  • allowing an employer to frontload the 40 hours to avoid accruing time throughout the year;
  • expanding the definition of “family member” to include someone is not a family member but “is the equivalent of a family relationship”;
  • acknowledging an employer’s right to discipline an employee when an employee’s use of time under the ordinance “is not in good faith, such as a clear instance of abuse,” except that an employer may not, as discipline, “deduct from an employee’s legitimate earned sick and safe time.”
  • replacing the blanket exclusion from the ordinance of all employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement with a narrower exclusion applicable to the construction industry only;
  • adding a requirement to “develop and implement a culturally specific outreach and community engagement program to educate employees and employers about their rights and obligations” under the law.

The Duluth sick and safe time effort has been in the works for a few months short of two years. In July 2016, the City Council passed a “Resolution Establishing Earned Sick and Safe Time Task Force.”  That task force submitted its recommendation to the City Council last fall.