Last night the group agreed on four more definitions relating to the proposed ordinance. It is important to remember that the task force is not writing the ordinance, city attorneys will do that, but we are defining the framework of the ordinance to provide guidance to city staff. City staff will then provide a draft ordinance to the City Council, who will go through the process of voting on an ordinance, which usually includes a public hearing. For more information on the process, see pages 9-10 in the City Council’s Welcome Guide. In that spirit we achieved consensus on the following items:
- That employees may begin using ESST 90 calendar days after employment (90 days is a common time frame used by many employers)
- Annual Cap – 48 hours is the maximum number of ESST hours an employee can earn in each year (calendar or fiscal, whatever time period the employer uses). We also noted that it may be that many employers allow employees to earn more than 48 hours, which of course means that the employer would be in compliance with the proposed ordinance.
- Sick time may be used for an employee’s mental or physical illness, need for medical diagnosis or preventative care
- Safe time may be used when an employee is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking
The task force continues to work on accrual and usage definitions and then will transition to exemptions as we examine employers who would not be covered by a proposed ordinance. The next meeting of the task force is April 19th from 6 to 8:30 p.m. All meetings are held at the Wellstone Community Center. The public is invited to attend, but there is no public testimony during the task force meetings as the city provided both a survey and community meetings to gather public input during the weeks preceding the launch of the task force. The full transcripts of all public comments have been provided to all task force members and can be reviewed on-line on the city’s ESST web page.