Temporary Employees and Paid Sick Leave

Sick leave for all employees, including temporary ones, has been a hot topic for decades. Today, with the coronavirus pandemic, the topic is more important than ever. For employees, paid sick leave can make the difference between paying bills and watching expenses rack up, while many employers are concerned about keeping their businesses afloat. Temporary employees are in an even more vulnerable position, due to the transitory nature of their jobs, many of which do not offer benefits such as sick leave. State, federal and local laws vary, so it’s important to know what your sick leave obligations to your employees might be.

Minnesota sick leave laws

Minnesota doesn’t require employers to provide any kind of sick leave, but they may be required to provide unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, and Minnesota’s Parental Leave Act. If an employer does choose to provide leave, they are required to perform to the terms in the employment contract, and allow employees to use that leave while caring for themselves, a sick or injured child, spouse, sibling, parents or parents-in-law, stepparent, grandchild or grandparent.

In fact, if an employer provides sick leave to employees, they are also required to allow that employee to take the leave while recovering from or caring for a person who has experienced domestic abuse, stalking or sexual assault.

Any employee who has worked at the company for a year or more, those who worked at least half-time in the last year, or any employer who has more than 21 employees at a job site and/or those who offer personal sick leave to employees are required to comply with the law.

Finally, if the employee has accrued more than 160 hours of paid sick leave, the employer can limit them using their hours to care for a family member—other than a minor child—to 160 hours.

Minneapolis sick leave policy

If your business is located within Minneapolis proper, you are subject to the Minneapolis Safe and Sick Time policy. This policy requires employers with 6 or more employees to provide paid sick leave to their workers and not prevent them from using it. Employees accrue one hour of sick time per 30 hours worked.

Employers also have the option to cap those sick leave hours to 48 hours total per year, and at 80 hours in their “bank.” Employers can increase those numbers, but never decrease them below the minimum standard. This goes into effect after the employee has worked 90 days at the company.

Temporary employees and sick leave

How does all of this work for temporary employees and the employers who use their services? According to the Safe and Sick Time policy, both the staffing agency and the employer are considered “employers” for the purpose of the law, and either or both must provide the required sick leave. However, they are not required to duplicate the benefits. If you’re located outside of Minneapolis, be sure to check local laws to see if there’s something similar in effect.

Award Staffing is here to help you navigate the challenges of staffing. Reach out to us to find temporary employees to staff your business.