Main Street Alliance of Minnesota member businesses applaud the Minnesota Supreme Court in upholding Minneapolis’ Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance.
While the suit and appeal was brought by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce last year, in fact even before the pandemic a majority of small businesses supported paid sick days. A 2017 Main Street Alliance survey of nearly 1,800 small business owners in 17 states found that 64% of respondents supported a nation-wide paid sick days minimum standard like the Healthy Families Act. This increased to 73% when just looking at women small business owners and business owners of color.
Paid Sick Days help ensure employees stay home to take care of themselves or their family when they’re sick. Without the fear of losing pay or their job, employees are more likely to keep sickness out of the workplace so that businesses of all sizes (and our customers) can stay healthy. Before the pandemic, over 44 million people—about 42% of all US workers—didn’t have access to a single paid day off, leading many employees to come to work sick rather than lose their job or wages, putting their health, their co-worker’s health, and customers’ health at risk. With the federal Covid relief Families First Act, effective as of April 2nd, many more employees are now covered by paid sick days -- but this program is set to end on December 31st.
Universal paid sick days can reduce the spread of flu-like illness up to 40 percent during a major wave. And as the current pandemic has continued it is clear that paid sick days are incredibly important to keeping small businesses and community members safe. Now more than ever, paid sick days and paid leave must become a permanent part of our nation’s economy.