Earned Safe And Sick Time

Howl Arts Collective Montreal/Flickr

Duluth's ongoing conversation about Earned Safe and Sick Time is a critical one for people who risk their jobs if they take time off to care for a sick child or are seeking help in instances of domestic abuse.

In Duluth's Native American community, over 30% of the population is homeless.  80% of mothers are the primary breadwinners for their families. And 46% - compared to 26% of the general population here - are living below the poverty line.

So as you might imagine, issues surrounding income and job security - not to mention aid for victims of violence - are big deals.

xrayspx [via Flickr]

A flurry of sick leave and minimum wage laws took effect in 2017, including in Minnesota: St Paul and Minneapolis both passed sick leave laws that went into force on July 1, 2017.  Duluth may be the next city to follow suit. Over the past year, the Duluth City Council has convened an Earned Sick and Safe Time Task Force to study public views on sick leave laws and to collect input from residents and businesses alike.

Hermann Kaser/Flickr

No one wants the sneezing, sniffling, stuffy-headed co-worker spreading their germs in the workplace.

No one wants a kid missing school to take care of a younger sibling who's sick.

And it's horrifying to think someone would have to choose between making a mortgage or rent payment and leaving a situation of domestic violence.

But adding paid sick and safe time leave is expensive, complex, and there's no one-size-fits-all plan.

So Duluth's Earned Safe and Sick Time Task Force is trying to come up with options tailored for Duluth.