2023 was an active year for new employment laws in Minnesota, and one of the biggest is the new Employee Sick and Safe Time law that is required to be followed by all Minnesota employers. Also required of all employers are a number of other new laws; some that became active in July 2023 with the rest required as of January 1, 2024.
What do these changes mean to you and your organization? Let's take a closer look.
Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST)
This law requires any employee who works at least 80 hours in a year in Minnesota to earn paid time off.
Part-time and temporary employees are included in this law.
The law does not apply to independent contractors.
Employees begin accruing ESST on their first day of employment and accrue at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked up to a minimum of 48 hours a year.
ESST must be paid at the same hourly rate as the employee's work rate.
ESST can be used for a wide variety of purposes including physical or mental illness or preventative care or when an employee or family member is at risk of infecting others with a communicable disease; domestic or sexual violence; workplace closures due to weather or public emergencies.
Employees can use ESST for themselves or those family members or equivalent.
Employers are required to:
Include available and used ESST on pay stubs;
Notify all employees (ASAP if you haven't already done so and upon hire for all new employees); and
Post a notice in your employee handbook if you have one.
Local city ordinances may have requirements above those of ESST. Always go with the more generous law. Check local city ordinances to ensure you are in compliance with any local laws that are more favorable than ESST.
Women's Economic Security Act Revisions. New laws associated with this act that took effect on July 1, 2023 include:
Providing breaks and clean, private, secure space (not a restroom) for lactating employees to express milk.
Employees have the right to choose when to express milk, whether during regular break times (paid or unpaid) or another time, even if it is considered disruptive to employer operations.
Up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave for new parents. This law now applies to all MN employees where it used to be limited to employers with more than 21 employees and working at least part time for 12 months before requesting the leave.
A notice for employees is required to be provided in the employee handbook if you have one, and new employees and any employee who asks about it are required to be notified of their rights under this law.
New Minimum-wage Rates
For employers with a combined gross annual revenue of more than $500,000, the new minimum-wage rate increases to $10.85.
For employers below $500,000 in gross annual revenues, the new minimum-wage rate is $8.85.
Minimum-wage is also $8.85 for employees under 20 years of age during a 90-day training period, or any youth under 18 years of age.
These are state minimum-wage requirements. Check local city ordinances (especially Minneapolis and St. Paul) to ensure you are in compliance with their wage requirements, which may be higher.
Pay History Ban
This law restricts employers from requesting pay history during the application, interview, or selection process.
Ban on Non-Compete Agreements
This law, which took effect on July 1, 2023, applies to employees as well as independent contractors.
This ban includes any agreement that prevents a former employee or independent contractor from working for another employer for a specific amount of time, work within a specific geographic area, or work for another employer in a similar capacity.
The law does allow for non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements.
While this law does not apply to non-compete agreements signed before July 1, 2023, the law is now in effect.
Another new law to keep on your radar is Paid Family and Medical Leave. Although it doesn't officially launch until 2026, it covers all employers and requires preparations as early as 2025. More about this in a future post, or click here for more about this law now, or here to schedule a time to talk directly with our HR Pro.