City Clerk

About Earned Sick & Safe Time


All employers with five or more employees must provide Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) to their employees working in Duluth. ESST is a law in Duluth that allows for employees to have access to paid time off work.

ESST can be used by employees in order to care for themselves or a family member in situations involving illnesses, injuries, physical or mental health conditions, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.



On July 19, 2021, the Duluth City Council passed amendments to Duluth City Code Chapter 29E, regarding Earned Sick and Safe Time. These amendments included the following changes:

  • Employers must provide new employees with a copy of their ESST-compliant paid-leave policy;
  • If an employer maintains an employee handbook, a copy of the employer’s ESST-compliant paid leave policy must be included in said handbook;
  • ESST may now be used by employees to cover lost hours due to the closure of their place of employment due to public health reasons;



Earned Sick and Safe Time Resources

Duluth employers and employees can visit the ESST Resources pages for employee notice posters, educational materials, tracking tools, links to various government programs, and additional resources



How to Report a Violation

You can file a complaint or report a violation by using the Report a Violation portal on the right-hand side of this screen. You can also use the complaint forms available under “ESST Employee Resources.” These forms can be submitted by mail or in person at the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall Room 318, 411 West First Street, Duluth, MN 55802.

Information you provide is subject to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. You are not required to provide any of the information we ask for; however, if you choose not to provide information, we may not be able to investigate. The information you provide will be kept confidential while we investigate, but it may be shared with others when doing so is necessary for us to investigate. Once an investigation is inactive, information may be available to the public on request, unless otherwise protected by the Minnesota Whistleblower Act.



Unemployment Insurance and Earned Sick and Safe Time

Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) can be used by employees to cover scheduled shifts that they are unable to work due to a sick or safe time-related issue.

If a business has closed temporarily and there are no scheduled shifts, then accordingly there would be no opportunity to use ESST. In such a situation, ESST should not be considered available paid leave.

For more information regarding unemployment insurance in Minnesota, visit:

If you are encountering other issues related to ESST while applying for unemployment insurance, please contact us at


Earned Sick and Safe Time Administrative Rules

The Earned Sick and Safe Time ordinance grants the Duluth City Clerk's Office the authority to administer and enforce the ordinance in the City of Duluth. In order to provide administrative guidance regarding the ESST ordinance and to elaborate upon the process by which the ordinance will be enforced, administrative rules have been created. These rules will govern the practices of the Duluth City Clerk's Office in administering and enforcing the ordinance. 

ESST Administrative Rules

Complaints and Administrative Appeals Handbook

A citizen handbook has been developed in order to help the public understand both the complaint process as well as the administrative appeals process for Earned Sick and Safe Time enforcement. This handbook explains how the city will process complaints, carry out investigations, administer appeals, and enforce the ordinance.

Complaints and Administrative Appeals Handbook


Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance History

Please visit the Earned Sick and Safe Time Task Force page for additional information on the public outreach and research that was conducted in formulating the Earned Sick and Safe Time ordinance.