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Minneapolis and St. Paul Safe and Sick Time Ordinances Now in Effect

are you prepared?

As many employers are aware, both Minneapolis and St. Paul passed city ordinances requiring private employers to provide certain employees with paid sick time / safe time.  Although opposition remains, these ordinances went into effect on July 1, 2017.  Despite the fact that many employers already provide paid time off, implementation of these ordinances almost certainly required revisions to existing leave, PTO or vacation policies in order to ensure full compliance.

Accrual and Use Highlights

Both ordinances provide leave for employees who perform work in the city for at least 80 hours per year. The Minneapolis ordinance covers all employers, but allows employers with fewer than six employees to provide unpaid leave. In St. Paul, the ordinance is phased in based on employer size.  As of July 1, 2017 employers with 24 or more employees are subject to the ordinance and required to provide paid leave.  Smaller employers have until January 1, 2018 to do the same.

For purposes of the determining an employer’s size, an employee includes not only full time employees, but also part time and temporary employees, regardless of where the employees are performing work.

Eligible employees begin accruing safe and sick time on their first day of employment at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked within the city, up to a maximum of 48 hours per calendar year.  Employees who have accrued such time can start using it after 90 days.  Both ordinances allow employers to require employees to provide reasonable advance notice for foreseeable leave.  However, in Minneapolis employers cannot require more than seven days of advance notice.

Employee Handbook and Notice Requirements

The ordinances continue the trend of requiring specific employee handbook notification policies.  As with other legislation, these ordinances require an employer to provide notice of an employee’s rights and remedies under the ordinance in its employee handbook.  In addition, employers must post a poster of employee rights at any worksite where any employee works. The notification posters are available respectively for Minneapolis and St. Paul and should be displayed in various languages.

Current Jurisdictional Limitations for the Minneapolis Ordinance

Both ordinances were drafted to cover employers with employees working in the city limits, regardless of where the employer is located.  However, there is a current court ordered injunction limiting the reach of the Minneapolis ordinance to cover only employees who work for employers located in Minneapolis.  This injunction remains in effect until the Minnesota Court of Appeals rules on the legality of the entire ordinance. The decision should be coming down within the next 90 days.

If you have any additional questions or comments on the above ordinances, or on any other employment law matters, contact Rinke Noonan Employment Attorney Chad Staul directly at (320) 656-3515 or cstaul@rinkenoonan.com

©2017 Rinke Noonan