Minnesota’s Earned Sick and Safe Time law (ESST) requires all employers to offer paid sick time to employees who work at least 80 hours per year.
Carleton’s existing sick leave plan for benefits-eligible staff (FTE of .46 or greater) exceeds the state requirements. Therefore, benefits-eligible employees will continue to accrue sick leave hours as outlined in our Sick Leave Policy. There is no change in the accrual rates or method; however, benefits-eligible staff may designate up to 80 hours of sick accruals per fiscal year as ESST.
Faculty, student employees, and non-benefits eligible staff who previously did not accrue sick leave will now earn one hour of ESST for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum accrual of 48 hours per fiscal year and a maximum balance of 80 hours.
Please see the Earned Sick and Safe Time policy for more information.
When does earned sick and safe time begin?
January 1, 2024 is the effective date for the law.
Who is eligible for earned sick and safe leave?
Faculty, student employees, and non-benefits eligible expected to work at least 80 hours per year are eligible to earn ESST.
Will benefits-eligible staff members also accrue ESST?
No. Carleton’s existing sick leave plan for benefits-eligible staff (FTE of .46 or greater) exceeds the states ESST requirements. Therefore, benefits-eligible employees will continue to accrue sick leave hours as outlined in our Sick Leave Policy. There is no change in the accrual rates or method; however, benefits-eligible staff may designate up to 80 hours of sick accruals per fiscal year as ESST.
What can earned sick and safe time be used for?
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry recommends ESST be used for the following reasons:
- the employee’s mental or physical illness, treatment or preventive care
- a family member’s mental or physical illness, treatment or preventive care
- absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the employee or a family member
- closure of the employee’s workplace due to weather or public emergency or closure of a family member’s school or care facility due to weather or public emergency that prevents an employee from being able to work.
- when determined by a health authority or health care professional that the employee or a family member is at risk of infecting others with a communicable disease.
Can I use earned sick and safe time to care for family members?
Employees may use ESST to assist the following people:
- their child, including foster child, adult child, legal ward, child for whom the employee is legal guardian or child to whom the employee stands or stood in loco parentis (in place of a parent)
- their spouse or registered domestic partner
- their sibling, stepsibling or foster sibling
- their biological, adoptive or foster parent, stepparent or a person who stood in loco parentis (in place of a parent) when the employee was a minor child
- their grandchild, foster grandchild or step-grandchild
- a child of a sibling of the employee
- a sibling of the parents of the employee
- a child-in-law or sibling-in-law
- any of the family members of an employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner
- any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship
- up to one individual annually designated by the employee.
What is the rate of ESST accrual?
Hourly employees who accrue earned sick and safe time will accrue .033 hours (2 minutes) for every hour worked. Salary employees will earn the equivalent of 1 hour of earned sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked.
When do earned sick and safe time accruals begin?
Employees begin to accrue ESST on their first day of employment.
How soon can I use my earned sick and safe time accruals?
ESST can be accessed as soon as it is earned and appears in your ESST absence balance.
Can I use earned sick and safe time before I accrue (earn) it?
No, time can only be used once it has been earned.
How can I check my ESST accrual balance?
ESST balances and utilization are tracked in Workday and can be found in the following ways:
Student employees can find ESST balances and utilization on their payslips or under the time off tab on their profile page.
Faculty and non- benefit eligible staff can find ESST balances and utilization on their payslips or under the absence tab on their profile page.
Benefit-eligible staff can find sick leave accruals and ESST utilization can on their payslips or under the absence tab on their profile page.
How do I request ESST?
To request or report ESST, use the Request Absence page in Workday. Please refer to the Workday Help Article for guidance: Request Earned Sick & Safe Time (ESST) – (for Everyone)
What is the maximum annual accrual?
Employees may accrue up to 48 hours of ESST per fiscal year (July-June).
Do unused ESST accruals roll over to the next fiscal year? If so, what is the maximum ESST balance?
Yes. Unused ESST accruals will roll over. The maximum ESST balance is 80 hours.
Do I need to request earned sick and safe leave in advance of my absence?
If the request is to cover an unforeseen illness, no advanced notice is required. However, employees must notify their manager of their absence prior to their scheduled work time.
If the absence is foreseen (i.e. a scheduled medical appointment), employees must provide at leave seven days notice of their absence.
In what increments should I report my earned sick and safe time?
There is no minimum amount of time to report ESST. Hourly employees may report any missed work that qualifies for ESST. Salaried employees should report ESST in hourly increments.
Can managers see an employee’s available ESST balance?
Yes. In Workday, managers can go to the employees profile, click on Absences, and on Absence Balance to see ESST accruals, utilization, and available balance.
As a manager of an employee with multiple positions, how can I tell which portion of an employee’s ESST balance is eligible for an absence in my department?
If the absence qualifies for ESST, an employee’s can use accrued ESST hours to cover any missed shift. ESST accruals are not tied to a particular department or role and unused accruals follow the employee through their employment at Carleton.
As a manager, can I deny an employee’s ESST request if they haven’t worked in my department long enough to accrue the number of hours needed to cover the missed shift?
There are two parts to this answer.
- No. Accruals follow the employee, not the position. If they have ESST accruals available and a qualified absence, supervisors must approve the absence request.
- An employee can utilize any portion of their accruals to cover a missed shift if they have a qualified absence. For example, if they only have 2 hours available and miss a 3 hour shift, they can request 2 hours of ESST for a qualified absence.
If I end my employment, will my ESST be paid out to me?
Earned sick and safe time accruals are not eligible for payout.
What happens if I end my employment and then restart?
If an employee is rehired by Carleton within 180 days of departure, their ESST balance at the time of their termination will be reinstated when they are rehired. If an employee returns after the 180-day window, there is no reinstatement of previous balances of ESST.