Skip to content

New Minnesota Laws to Impact Businesses on January 1

New Minnesota Laws to Impact Businesses on January 1

Material Matters Member News Industry News/Information

New Laws on Paid Employee Sick/Safe Time take affect January 1, 2024

New Minnesota Laws to Impact Businesses on January 1

New Laws on Paid Employee Sick/Safe Time take affect January 1, 2024

As we communicated to the membership in June 2023, the Minnesota Legislature wrapped up its 2023 Legislative Session with a number of business-related bills being signed into law. Of greatest importance to members are the new laws and/or requirements focusing on Paid Employee Sick/Safe Time.

Minnesota Enacts Required Sick/Safe Time for All Employees Effective January 1, 2024
Governor Walz also signed into law a requirement for employers to provide all employees (including part-time and/or seasonal workers) with up to 48 hours per year of paid sick/safe time (also known as Employee Sick & Safe Leave – ESSL).

The new law is set to begin on January 1, 2024 and applies to employers with one (1) or more employees and is eligible to employees who work a minimum of 80-hours per year.

Under the law, employers must do the following:

  1. Provide sick/safe time to any employee working 80-hours per year (or more).
    1. Employee begins earning sick/safe time on Day 1
    2. Can not be used/taken until the 80-hour threshold is met
  2. Qualifying employees will earn one (1) hour of sick/safe leave for every 30 hours worked – up to 48 hours per year.
    1. Upon earning sick/safe leave, employees may carry over any unused sick/safe leave from year-to-year up to a maximum of 80 hours.
    2. Once an employee earns 80 hours – or has a bank of 80 hours on the books – they stop earning sick/safe leave time.
  3. Post notice of sick/safe time eligibility and its permissible uses (per the law) must be posted in the business and noted in employee handbook.
    1. The MN Department of Labor & Industry is working to develop a poster to be included with all other state required postings.
  4. Provide each employee with a statement of earned time off including sick/safe time (i.e. include earned time on paystub) starting on January 1, 2024
    1. It is recommended that members consult with their payroll provider and/or payroll staff as soon as possible to ensure this can be added to your weekly/bi-weekly/monthly paystubs.

Under the law, employees will be eligible to use sick/safe leave for:

  1. Mental or physical illness and/or injury
    b. to care for a injured and/or ill family member
    c. to be absent due to domestic abuse
    d. for closure of their place of work (i.e. snow days and/or COVID-19)
    e. when they can not work from a remote location if/when their attendance in the workplace would cause a risk of transmitting a communicable disease/illness
    f. if health authorities direct that the presence of the employee or a family member of the employee in the community would jeopardize the health of others.

Under the law, a family member will be considered any one of the following individual(s):

  1. child, foster child, step-child, legal ward, child for which the employee is a designated legal guardian, spouse, domestic partner and/or partner, sibling or step-sibling, parent or step-parent, grandchild or step-grandchild, grandparent or step-grandparent, niece or nephew, aunt/uncle or aunt/uncle in-law, child in-law or sibling in-law, family of spouse or partner, other people related by blood or who might otherwise be considered the equivalent of family, and one person who may be designated by the employee annually as someone whom they are caring for.

Under the law, as of January 1, 2024, employers must abide by the following rules:

  1. Retaliation for use of sick/safe time is prohibited
    b.  Use of sick/safe time by employee can not count towards absences that lead to adverse actions (i.e. termination)
          a. Ex: if an employee is on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), being absent due to sick/safe time can not factor any future disciplinary action(s)
    c. Employer can not require employee to find a replacement
    d. Employer must maintain confidentiality of employee and/or family member(s) health/illness information
    e. Advance notice of sick/safe time use is NOT required unless the circumstance is foreseeable (i.e. known surgery or procedure)
    f. Employer may request documentation of injury/illness and the need for sick/safe time after three (3) consecutive sick/safe leave days are used.
         a. Employer may request doctor’s statement however the employee does have the right to provide their own written statement in lieu of a doctor’s statement

Exemptions from the Law

At present, only the Federal Government and/or those employees whose employment is governed by a collective bargaining agreement (i.e. a Union Contract) are exempt from the new law.

The law does state that those employers who offer Paid Time Off (PTO) programs that could be deemed as rich (or richer) than what the state requires under the new law, may also be exempt.

How Should You Respond?

We hope that you have had your vacation/PTO/sick time policy(s) reviewed however, if you haven’t, members are strongly encouraged to act now!

BLD Connection recommends that members consult their legal counsel and review their current vacation, sick time and/or PTO policy(s) to determine if what is currently being offered to employees meets the requirement of the new law or if additions and/or adjustments need to be made.

Should your policy NOT meet the requirements of the new law, members are encouraged to consult their legal council and draft a policy that meets the requirements of the new law by January 1, 2024.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Employers found not in compliance with the new safe/sick time law may be fined up to $10,000 for each offense. Additionally, employees will also have the right to request both punitive as well as administrative damages (i.e. recovery of attorney fees) if/when pursuing action against an employer.

Powered By GrowthZone
Scroll To Top