Duluth is considering joining the small rank of cities in the state that mandates sick and safe time to all workers.
that a city task force is three months into a year-long study looking at the impacts of implementing the requirement, as well as taking input from employers, employees and the community at large.
About five out of six people in Duluth who make under $35,000 don’t have access to paid time off for illness or safety issues like domestic abuse, according to advocates of the measure. Nearly half of St. Louis County residents
—where Duluth is located—lack paid sick leave.
If Duluth passes an ordinance, it would be only the third city in Minnesota to do so. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul currently have safe and sick time rules that are set to go into effect this summer.
The first listening sessions start next week and will continue in the months ahead, according to minutes
of a recent task force meeting.
The ordinance is already worrying some business organizations that said it could be an undue burden on cash-strapped employers.
“Just about every employer at some point was an employee—they have faced the struggles that we face as employees,” Brian Hanson with the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) told WDIO. “Not every employee has been an employer and had to be faced with, ‘Gee, can I make payroll this week?’ So these are real issues.”
The concerns of employers have even reached the ears of state legislators. Both the House
recently introduced bills that would prohibit local governments from passing their own labor standards, including paid sick time, scheduling rules or a higher minimum wage.