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The current law will be expanded to allow an employee to use sick leave to care for an adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, or stepparent.
(Published May 20, 2013)
Currently, employers who have 21 or more employees at a work location can provide sick leave for employees to care for a sick child. A bill on its way to Gov. Dayton, SF 840, would expand sick leave benefits for employee to care for an adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, or stepparent.
Bill sponsors are Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) and Sen. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis). The Senate passed the conference committee report on May 16 on a vote of 41-25. The House passed the final version the same day on a vote of 99-35.
As passed, the bill is capped at a minimum of four weeks sick leave to care for an ailing relative. Authors initially wanted 12 or more weeks. In order to gather real data on the financial impact, conferees added a provision that would require Minnesota Management and Budget to analyze the state’s fiscal impact from employees using the expanded sick leave benefits beginning Aug. 1, 2013, the proposed effective date. The report would be due to legislators on Aug. 1, 2014.
The bill does not requires employers to increase the amount of sick leave provided to employees, nor does it interfere with existing employer policies related to maximum sick leave accruals. The League monitored this legislation, and testified that the initiative may increase the use of sick time by employees in cities that currently have policies limiting the use to the employee and a sick child. The League was prepared to oppose the initiative had there been proposed changes to the obligation of the employer to provide sick leave, or to allow employees to accrue more leave for the purpose of caring for an expanded group of family members.
Gov. Dayton is expected to sign the measure.
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Contact Anne Finn
Assistant IGR Director
(651) 281-1263 or (800) 925-1122
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