FAQs Provided for Localities: Additional Obligations for Sick and Safe Time

On March 15, 2020, the City of Duluth released Frequently Asked Questions as guidance for employers regarding Duluth’s Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) law. In addition, on March 18, 2020, the City of Minneapolis issued an FAQ regarding COVID-19 and the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance.

As background, Duluth’s ESST ordinance guarantees paid time off for certain types of employees that work within the city, and protects certain activities, including coronavirus screening; providing and receiving care due to coronavirus symptoms or infection; and testing or quarantine following close personal contact with a coronavirus infected or symptomatic person. The city’s FAQ provides guidance regarding which employers must comply with the ordinance (any individual, corporation, partnership, association, nonprofit organization or group of people that has five or more employees, whether or not all of the employees work in the city) and when an employee can use sick time (for an absence from work resulting from the employee’s own mental or physical illness, injury or health condition, including the need for medical diagnosis, care, treatment or preventative medical care), among other topics.

Additionally, Minneapolis’ Sick and Safe Time ordinance protects employees’ accrued sick and safe time hours for use due to coronavirus symptoms, testing or infection. Further, protection extends to the employee and the employee’s care of a covered family member. Among other topics, the FAQs explain that employers may (but are not required to) allow employees to use accrued sick and safe time when employees’ hours are reduced (but the workplace has not been closed by a public official). Further, sick and safe time can be used for school or childcare closures, but cannot be used for preemptive self-quarantine.

Employers with employees in Duluth or Minneapolis should be aware of these resources and review the FAQs for additional guidance.

Duluth FAQs: Earned Sick and Safe Time and COVID-19 »
Minneapolis FAQs: COVID-19 and the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance »