How Paid Medical Leave Would Strengthen Minnesota’s Economy
Sick kids, the flu, aging parents — these issues have a direct impact on our day-to-day lives.
Later this month, lawmakers in St. Paul will be considering legislation to grant all working people in Minnesota access to paid medical leave. This legislation would make sure that workers don’t have to choose between caring for their families and keeping their jobs.
Opponents argue that employers are already burdened by regulations and taxes, but passing paid medical leave would strengthen the state’s economy, not hurt it.
Sandra, a Minnesota Working America member, told us that she sometimes works when she’s sick to avoid a smaller paycheck and that not having access to paid medical leave is making her consider looking for other work. She’s not alone.
Economic studies have shown that employees who do not have access to paid sick leave are more likely to quit their jobs, drop out of the labor force or spend time out of work searching for new jobs. These various scenarios burden the employer, who has to deal with higher turnover and spend time and money finding and training new employees.
Another Working America member who has a chronic disease told us that paid time off has greatly improved his life. He is one of the luckier ones; nearly 9 in 10 Minnesotans do not have access to paid medical leave because there are no federal or state requirements for employers to provide this essential flexibility.
With paid medical leave, Minnesota employers would benefit from increased productivity and employee morale, and fewer sick workers on the job. And as a small-business owner explained in an opinion piece for the MinnPost, passing this legislation would help smaller businesses compete with large companies that offer more generous benefits. All these reasons show that paid medical leave is better for businesses’ bottom lines and good for the state’s economy.
Minnesota’s economy should work for everyone, not just those who can afford it. Passing Rep. Laurie Halverson’s HF 5 bill will help level the playing field for businesses while supporting work with dignity.
To learn more or find out how you can help, please visit: www.paidleavemn.org.