To the editor:

As we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, when people get sick, they should be able to stay home not just for their own health or that of a loved one, but for the health of everyone around them.

No one should ever have to choose between caring for themselves or a loved one and a paycheck. Recently we announced our new bill, of which I’m an author, to expand Earned Sick and Safe Time for working Minnesotans. The bill aims to provide an important short-term benefit to workers by allowing them to accrue sick time based on the number of hours worked. If enacted into law, it would ensure, at a minimum, one hour of paid Earned Sick and Safe Time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours per year.

An Earned Sick and Safe Time policy has several key additional benefits, including:

• Healthier workplaces and schools.

• Greater support for caregivers.

• Reduced health care costs.

Workers in Duluth, Minneapolis and Saint Paul already have this fundamental benefit, and it’s time to extend it to workers across the state.

As Minnesotans, we care about each other, and we want to live in a state where our families can be healthy and safe regardless of what you look like, your income or where you work. By ensuring the ability to stay home when sick — without foregoing a paycheck — we can get through the ongoing pandemic as a stronger, healthier state.

What would an Earned Sick and Safe Time policy mean to you and your family? Please contact me at rep.connie.bernardy@house.mn or 651-296-5510 to share your input on this topic, other topic of interest or ways in which I may be of assistance to you on state matters.

Connie Bernardy

New Brighton

Bernardy, DFL-New Brighton, represents District  41A in the Minnesota House.

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