Minneapolis Sick & Safe Time ordinance went into effect July 1, 2017. Do you know what you need to do as an employer?
Second, consider attending an upcoming implementation workshop co-sponsored by a few of our members:
- Wed July 19, 6 pm – 7 pm
- Wed July 26, 2 pm – 3 pm at
- Midtown Global Market.
Then, for additional information and to be kept up to date, subscribe to MPLS-SST at the bottom of the city website.
We’ve also included the following notice from Labor Standards Enforcement Division, Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights with valuable information.
Notice from MPLS SST:
July 1, 2017 is right around the corner. Are you prepared for implementation of the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance? Read to the bottom of this notice for important reminders and new information.
The Minneapolis Labor Standards Enforcement Division, at the direction of city policymakers, will initially focus resources on education, technical assistance, and warnings in cases of noncompliance where parties are acting in good faith. This is a brand new law and a big change for some. Time, patience, and collaboration is required by all, especially during an initial phase of implementation.
Announcement and reminders:
- In a lawsuit brought against the City of Minneapolis in the case of Minnesota Chamber of Commerce et al v. City of Minneapolis, Court File No. 27-cv-16-15051, the Hennepin County District Court issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the City of Minneapolis from enforcing the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance against any “employer resident outside the geographic boundaries of the City.” This case is currently on appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. As a consequence, the Ordinance will not be enforced against any employer resident outside the City of Minneapolis until the order is modified or rescinded.
- As many of you are aware, Governor Dayton recently vetoed a ”preemption” bill sent to him by the Minnesota Legislature. The “preemption” bill never became law and the City of Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance thus remains effective July 1, 2017.
- On Tuesday June 20th from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at Butter Bakery Café (3700 Nicollet Ave S), small business administrators are welcome to join the Main Street Alliance of MN for a workshop conducted by legal experts. For more information contact: Corinne@mainstreetalliance.org. City staff will not be present at this event.
- The sick and safe time notice to employees poster is downloadable on our website. The poster must be displayed, per ordinance, effective July 1, in a location where employees can easily read it, in any language needed by employees for their comprehension.
- If you have an employee handbook, it must recognize the existence of the ordinance and provide a summary overview of the rights that the ordinance grants employees, including an employee’s right – free of retaliation – to report a violation of the ordinance to the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. Many employers choose to copy some or all of the language directly off of the downloadable poster.
- Please know that this office will alert all email subscribers to any changes and provide information as it become available. Encourage others to subscribe.
Substantive clarifications to the Sick and Safe Time FAQ’s guidance (a separate email will alert subscribers when this is also downloadable on our website):
- Q: May an employer treat part-time and full-time employees differently, for example, front loading sick and safe time for some but not others?
A: Yes. As long as an employer gives all employees at least what they are entitled under the ordinance, it may provide some but not other employees more or different benefits. (Warning: compliance with the Sick and Safe Time ordinance does not guarantee compliance with other civil rights protections or all applicable laws.)
- Q: For employers who choose to front-load, how many hours must be front-loaded?
A: An employer who chooses this option must front-load at least 48 hours for use during the employee’s first benefit year. This amount may be prorated if an employee starts at a time when the benefit year is already in progress. This includes all employees effective July 1, 2017 (e.g. July 1 through December 31 would be prorated at 24 hours). At the beginning of each subsequent benefit year, an employer must front-load the employee at least 80 hours to fulfill accrual and carryover requirements.
- Q: May employers who use a January through December benefit year prorate the accrual cap for July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017?
A: Yes, because the ordinance takes effect mid-year 2017, employers may cap accrual for July 2017 through December 2017 at 24 hours. Employers must carryover each employee’s accrued and unused sick and safe time hours into 2018.
If from January 2017 through June 2017, an employee accrued sick and safe time hours (i.e. a type of leave that can be used for all sick and safe time purposes, e.g. sick leave, vacation, or PTO etc.), the employer may count that towards accrual for purposes of compliance for an entire benefit year 2017.
Employers may also prorate accrual caps for any new employees who start any time a benefit year is already in progress.
- Q: If an employer offers a Paid Time Off (PTO) plan or other sick or vacation leave, does that satisfy the requirements of the Ordinance?
A: The name of an employer’s paid time off plan or other leave policy does not matter. A PTO plan (or any other type of leave, including sick or vacation) satisfies the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance requirements if the plan allows employees: (1) at least as much time as required by the ordinance; and (2) to use the time off for all of the reasons and under the same conditions required by the Ordinance. Some existing plans and procedures may need changes to fulfill the baseline requirements set by the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance.
A checklist of Sick and Safe Time Ordinance requirements is available for download here.
An employer offers 80 hours of PTO per year. Does it need to begin referring to its PTO as “sick and safe time”? No. The law does not require explicit reference to any employee programs or leave as “sick and safe time”. The name used by employers does not matter. The amounts and conditions of use for time off work determine whether or not a policy complies with the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance.
- Q: If an employer uses a PTO plan (or any other type of leave that encompasses all sick and safe time ordinance purposes) to comply with the ordinance, does the employer need to track how an employee uses leave and ensure sufficient amounts are used for sick and safe time purposes?
A: No. Employers must provide access to leave that may be or may have been used for sick and safe time purposes. An employee who chooses to use this leave for other purposes is not entitled to additional sick and safe time.
Thank you for your careful attention to this matter,
Labor Standards Enforcement Division, Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights