UPDATE: The battle over paid sick leave at the municipal level has continued on during the month of February. A House bill received lengthy testimony in a recent Committee meeting and business advocates were vocal on opposing the paid sick leave mandate for Minneapolis. Another Committee on Jobs and Economic Growth heard testimony this week on a Senate companion bill, also aimed at pre-emption of paid sick leave at the municipal level. While these developments have received a lot of press in the media, Governor Dayton has indicated that he is supportive of the Minneapolis paid sick leave ordinance so these bills will not make it past his desk. Employers in Minneapolis should continue to implement their plans for the mandatory sick and safe leave ordinance, effective July 1, 2017.
On January 19, 2017, Hennepin County Judge Dickstein ruled that the Minneapolis paid sick leave ordinance can proceed as planned with a July 1, 2017 effective date. This ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed back in October challenging the sick leave mandate. Judge Dickstein did, however, issue a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the new law to organizations operating outside the geographic boundaries of Minneapolis. Therefore, only employers who have a business facility within the City of Minneapolis (not the suburbs) would have to comply with the new law. A future hearing is expected to determine if that injunction will become permanent. MRA is monitoring these developments closely and will provide updates as they become available.
At its September 28th meeting, the Minneapolis City Council enacted some technical changes to Minneapolis’ mandatory sick and safe leave ordinance. Here is a summary of the key changes, which will become effective at the same time the law is effective, July 1, 2017:
- The regular rate of pay that must be paid while using sick and safe leave excludes tips, commissions, bonuses, premium overtime pays, expense reimbursements and certain other payments.
- The accrual rate is in one-hour increments only.
- Employers may "front-load" sick and safe time by providing at least 48 hours of sick and safe time following an employee’s 90 days of employment for use during the first calendar year, and by providing at least 80 hours of sick and safe time at the beginning of the calendar year.
- Employers do not need to track hours worked in the City of Minneapolis for employees who only "occasionally" perform work in the city.
Background: On May 27, 2016, the City Council of Minneapolis passed a new mandatory paid sick leave ordinance that applies to EVERY employer with six or more employees if they have ONE employee within the geographic boundaries of the City of Minneapolis (not the suburbs). The key provisions have been changed in a few substantial areas from what was originally proposed. The effective date is July 1, 2017. Rules to help employers implement and administer the law will be issued later this year.
MRA has a complimentary recorded webcast that explains the new rule and answers your questions on what you need to do to prepare.
Here is a summary of the new law:
- Employers with six or more employees would be covered.
- Employers would provide paid sick leave to full-time and part-time workers who work at least 80 hours in a calendar year within the geographic boundaries of the City of Minneapolis.
- Workers would earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year.
- The total amount of accrued but unused leave for an employee will not exceed 80 hours at any time, unless the employer agrees to a higher amount.
- The leave may be used by employees when they are ill, or when they care for a sick family member. It will also cover "safety leave," to be used to deal with domestic abuse, stalking, or other personal safety concerns. It is also available when the employee needs to take time off to care for a family member whose school or place of care has been closed due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected closure.
- Employers would not be required to pay out unused time upon the employee's termination.
- There will be posting and records retention requirements (3 years) for employers.
- Specific penalties for noncompliance have been identified.
These changes could have significant impact on employers. MRA will provide detailed guidance and tools during 2016 and 2017 to help you prepare.
Source: Lynell Meeth, HR Business Advisor, MRA – The Management Association