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In an unsurprising act this week, the St. Paul City Council passed an ordinance requiring that all employers in St. Paul provide employees with paid sick and safety leave. St. Paul now joins its twin, Minneapolis, as well as Chicago, as one of the only other major metropolitan cities in the Midwest to require paid time off for employees. St. Paul’s new mandate, however, exceeds what the other two cities have accomplished, mainly by requiring that all employers offer paid time off to employees.  Neither Minneapolis nor Chicago go so far as to mandate paid time off for every business; rather, they both offer exemptions for small businesses. 

St. Paul’s new ordinance requires the following:

  • Accrual of 1 hour paid time off for sick & safety leave for every 30 hours worked;

  • Maximum accrual each year of 48 hours;

  • Employees can carry-over accrued paid time off;

  • Only covers employees who work a minimum of 80 hours per calendar year;

  • Company can cap employee accrual at 80 hours;

  • Sick and safety leave extends beyond the employee to include immediate family;

  • Employee is not entitlement to payment for unused paid leave;

  • Independent contractors are excluded.

For larger employers with 24 or more employees, the effective date for this ordinance will be July 1, 2017.  Smaller employers will get additional time, until January 1, 2018, by which to comply.

Employers in Massachusetts, New York and California have all been through this recently.  Now St. Paul will join the ranks alongside Minneapolis and Chicago.  As a result, St. Paul employers will need to review their paid time off policies and update them accordingly for employees covered by this new ordinance.  While most employers may not see much impact on their paid leave entitlements for full-time workers, particularly professionals, the requirement that casual and part-time employees will now additionally receive paid time off benefits will be of greater impact. 

Thompson Coe and myHRgenius Tip of the Week is not intended as a solicitation, does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


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