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Duluth Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Takes Effect January 1

By: Tom Marshall

E&U reminds private employers with employees in Duluth that the Duluth Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) Ordinance takes effect on January 1, 2020. This ordinance requires that all employers of five or more employees provide certain leave benefits to employees who work in Duluth. The ordinance does not apply to government employers.

An employee would have to spend 50% of their working time in Duluth to be eligible. Employees would accrue one hour of sick and safe time for every fifty hours of work. This accrual would start the first day of employment. An employee would be allowed to accrue up to 64 hours per year and could carry over 40 hours to the next year if unused. Any unused hours over 40 would be paid to the employee. Alternatively, an employer could front load the employee with 40 hours of sick and safe time at the inception of employment and in every subsequent year and avoid the accrual calculations. Under either scenario, sick and safe time would not be available to be used until the employee completed 90 days of employment.

Sick time would be available for loss of time from work for the employee’s own medical issue or to care for a family member. Safe time is available for loss of time from work to deal with stalking, sexual assault or domestic abuse involving the employee or a family member.

Duluth has posted FAQs for employers and employees at its City Clerk website which may be found here. The Administrative Rules for enforcement may be found here. The City Clerk has enforcement power which are described in the Rules. Also, employees could bring actions in court rather than the clerk for interference or retaliation of their ESST rights.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call one of the employment law professionals at E&U.

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