Washington, DC

—New analysis by the

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

(IWPR) finds that

41 percent of Minnesota’s workers

lack access to a single paid sick day, and access is especially low among part-time and low-wage workers, Hispanic workers, and service workers in the state. Residents of

Southeast St. Louis County

, which includes the cities of Duluth and Hermantown, are the least likely to have paid sick days, with fewer than half of all workers having access. By contrast, residents of Scott county, which includes the cities of Shakopee, Savage, and Prior Lake, are the most likely to have paid sick days.

Two in three low-wage workers

, and three in four part-time workers in Minnesota lack access to paid sick days. Access is especially uncommon in the service industry— jobs that often require frequent contact with the public—where only one in three workers have access to paid sick days. In addition, only 40 percent of the state’s Hispanic workers, compared with 61 percent of white workers, have access to paid sick days.

“This research illustrates a striking inequality in access to paid sick days across the state,” said

IWPR Senior Research Associate Jessica Milli, Ph.D.

“The Twin Cities area attracts a large number of high-skilled, white collar workers, who are more likely to have access to paid sick days. The rest of the state has a greater proportion of economically vulnerable workers in part-time jobs or in service occupations. These workers are least able to lose pay when they are sick and also the least likely to have employer-provided paid sick days in Minnesota.”

Paid sick leave policies help parents fulfill their caregiving responsibilities. Research shows that having paid sick leave is the primary factor in a parent’s decision to stay home when their children are sick. Parents without access to paid sick days are nearly twice as likely to send their children to school or day care sick.

San Francisco passed the country’s first paid sick days ordinance in 2007. Following implementation of the ordinance, IWPR analyses found that

two-thirds of employers

surveyed were supportive of the measure and that job growth in San Francisco


that of its surrounding counties. Available research on other cities and the state of Connecticut, which have passed similar laws, shows little evidence of negative effects on employment or local businesses.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)

is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies.