Essential workers to lawmakers: ‘Don’t forget us’

Media Advisory


Contact: Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Amber Smigiel
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845

Emergency COVID-19 Leave Bill Caught in Limbo in Legislature

(St. Paul) – May 27, 2021 – Essential workers feel left behind despite their hard work and sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’re demanding progress on the emergency leave bill they were promised.

Despite Emergency Leave (link) passing the Minnesota House, the legislation has stalled in the Senate.  Essential workers were told there were both state and federal dollars to help them recapture the lost time and wages they missed while being forced to quarantine or await test results.

“Essential workers have been forgotten, but there’s still time to remember them,” said Daniel Clute, Registered Nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The research is already showing that essential workers in healthcare and critical services are considering leaving their jobs due to safety and sacrifices from the pandemic. A 2020 survey showed as high as a 67% turnover rate among healthcare staff, nursing home staff, school staff, and other essential workers.

When:     Friday, May 28, 11:00 a.m.

Where:   State Capitol Steps

Who:     Essential Workers, including:
Daniel Clute, RN and MNA Member
William “Bill” Schwandt, Education Minnesota member
Troy Bowman, SEIU Member
Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL-New Hope)
Sen. Erin Murphy (DFL-Saint Paul)

What:    Essential workers demand recognition that goes beyond empty words for their work and sacrifice during the pandemic.

Why:      Emergency Leave bill has not been taken up

Note:  The event will also be livestreamed at