by HLF Editor on August 1, 2016

By Robert S. Halagan, Halagan Law Firm, Ltd.

Are you an employer within the geographic boundaries of Minneapolis? If so, and you have six or more employees, you will be covered by a new Ordinance passed by the Minneapolis City Council requiring paid sick and safe time for workers who work at least eighty (80) hours in a year. The new law becomes effective July 1, 2017 and requires employers to offer up to forty-eight (48) hours of paid leave per year for employees to use if they or a family member are sick or otherwise need safety assistance (leave for the purpose of providing or receiving assistance because of sexual assault, domestic abuse, or stalking). New businesses will have a one year grace period in which they can offer unpaid leave instead of paid leave.

Under the ordinance, after ninety (90) calendar days of employment, employees will be entitled to accrue a minimum of one (1) hour of sick and safe time for every thirty (30) hours worked per year, up to forty-eight (48) hours of leave in a calendar year. Exempt or salaried employees will be considered to work forty (40) hours per week for purposes of accrual unless the employee’s standard workweek is less than forty (40) hours.  A salaried employee who works less than forty (40) hours per week will accrue leave based upon their standard work week.

Here are some practical pointers for the key points of the ordinance:

  • An employer may require up to seven (7) days advance notice of use of the leave if the need to use the leave is foreseeable. If the need is not foreseeable, an employer may require notice of the need for the leave as soon as practicable.
  • Employers may require reasonable documentation for absences of three (3) days or more consecutive days.
  • Employees may use leave in the smallest amount of time tracked by the employer’s payroll system.
  • There is no requirement to pay out accrued but unused sick and safe time upon termination of employment.
  • Employees will be able to carry over up to eighty (80) accrued hours to the following calendar year.

If you are not an employer in Minneapolis, you should still be aware of what your competitors in the Mill City will be providing to their employees as a benefit.  In this time of tight employment, employees may find this an attractive benefit that they may be asking you about and that could affect their decision of where they want to work.

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