Minnesota Implements Statewide Earned Sick and Safe Time Law

AdminAssist September 18, 2023
6-minute read

Effective January 1st, 2024, employers in the state of Minnesota will be required to provide their employees with paid leave, marking a significant milestone in the state's commitment to prioritizing the well-being and safety of its workforce. This new legislation aims to ensure that employees have the necessary support and flexibility to attend to their health needs and personal obligations without sacrificing their financial stability.

It is important for employers to stay informed about the specific sick and safe leave laws in their area to ensure compliance and provide the best possible benefits to their employees. By adhering to these laws, employers not only meet legal requirements but also create a positive and supportive work environment that prioritizes the health and safety of their workforce.

Who qualifies for sick and safe time benefits?

To qualify for paid leave, employees must have worked a minimum of 80 hours in a year for an employer in Minnesota. This includes both temporary and part-time employees. However, federal employees and independent contractors are not eligible for this benefit.

Does this new law apply to all employers?

All employers operating in the state of Minnesota, regardless of their size, are obligated to grant their employees earned sick and safe leave.

What steps should employers take to comply with this requirement?

To comply with the new requirement, employers must take the following steps:

1. Provide employees with a notice about sick and safe leave by January 1, 2024, or at the beginning of their employment, whichever is later. The Minnesota Department of Labor (MN DOL) will soon release a standardized notice that employers can use.

2. Update the employee handbook to include information about the sick and safe leave law. It is essential to keep employees informed and aware of their rights and entitlements.

3. Include details about sick and safe leave on the pay stub, showing the accrued, available, and used hours. This transparency ensures that employees can easily track and monitor their leave balance.

By following these steps, employers can ensure compliance with the new law and create a positive work environment that values the well-being and safety of their workforce.

How is paid sick and safe leave time accrued? 

Employees may accrue one hour for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 48 hours of paid leave per year. 

What happens if my employees are already accumulating time off based on a local law for paid sick leave?

Employers must follow the law that is more generous to the employee. If your employees already accrue time off under a local paid sick leave law in Bloomington, Duluth, Minneapolis, or St. Paul, and that law provides more generous benefits than the state law, then you must continue to provide those benefits. It is important to ensure that your employees receive the most favorable and beneficial sick and safe leave benefits available to them.

How much do I pay my employees for sick and safe time?

When it comes to paying your employees for sick and safe time, they must be paid at their standard regular hourly rate. 

When can my employee use sick and safe time? 

As per the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, employees may use sick and safe leave for the following reasons, 

  1. the employee's mental or physical illness, treatment or preventive care;

  2. a family member's mental or physical illness, treatment or preventive care;

  3. absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of the employee or a family member;

  4. 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; and

  5. 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.

A family member is defined by the MN DOL as follows, 

  1. 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);

  2. their spouse or registered domestic partner;

  3. their sibling, stepsibling or foster sibling;

  4. 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;

  5. their grandchild, foster grandchild or step-grandchild;

  6. their grandparent or step-grandparent;

  7. a child of a sibling of the employee;

  8. a sibling of the parents of the employee;

  9. a child-in-law or sibling-in-law;

  10. any of the family members (1 through 9 above) of an employee's spouse or registered domestic partner;

  11. any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship; and

  12. up to one individual annually designated by the employee.

Are employers required to pay out sick and safe leave upon termination? 

Employers are not required to pay unused accrued sick leave at termination of employment.  This provision aligns with standard practices regarding accrued leave and ensures that employers are not burdened with additional financial obligations when an employee's tenure comes to an end.    

For further guidance on the Minnesota statewide earned sick and safe leave law, contact the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

As a client of AdminAssist, you can rely on our expertise to navigate the complex landscape of labor laws and ensure that your business remains compliant. Our team of professionals stays up to date with the latest developments in employment regulations, including the new sick and safe leave law in Minnesota.