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Employees need and deserve a strong ordinance on earned sick and safe time

As I work toward providing living wages to my employees, this ordinance makes sense — and is a huge benefit at a low cost.

I opened my cafe, Abi’s Cafe on Lake Street, in April of last year with a goal of both bringing authentic Salvadorian food to the Twin Cities, and also helping create jobs in the community.

I see a lot of workers — especially my Latino customers and neighbors on Lake Street, who work really hard and aren’t getting paid enough for what they do. Many of those people — who work in small retail shops and restaurants — are working two or three jobs just to make what someone else would be with one job. When you are working that hard, you should be able to eat a good pupusa lunch. Unfortunately, eating out is a luxury for a lot of people.

So when I heard about the idea of earned sick and safe time, which would help make sure people could take a day off when they need it and not worry about making the rent or paying bills, I thought it was a good idea. I still do — people need this extra benefit, especially people working in the back of the house.

As I work toward providing living wages to my employees as I grow, this ordinance makes sense — and is a huge benefit at a low cost. On top of that, I want to make sure the people cooking and serving our food are 100 percent healthy, and when I go out to eat, I expect the same.

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I hope the Minneapolis City Council passes a strong ordinance, giving as many workers access to paid sick days as possible.

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