Effective January 1, 2024, Minnesota will require employers to provide paid sick and safe leave to employees who work in the state.
Sick and safe time is paid leave employers must provide to employees in Minnesota that can be used for certain reasons, including when an employee is sick, to care for a sick family member, or to seek assistance if an employee or their family member has experienced domestic abuse.
Any employee (including temporary and part-time employees) is eligible for sick and safe time if they:
- Work at least 80 hours a year for an employer in Minnesota; and
- Are not an independent contractor.
Notably, the sick and safe time requirements will not apply to building and construction industry employees who are represented by a building and construction trades labor organization if a valid waiver of these requirements is provided in a collective bargaining agreement.
Accrual and Carryover of Sick and Safe Time
An employee accrues one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours each year (unless the employer agrees to a higher amount). Employees must be permitted to carry over up to 80 hours of earned sick and safe time from one year to the next unless the employer “front-loads” 80 hours of sick and safe time or pays out the earned sick and safe time at the end of the year.
For purposes of the law, a “year” is a regular and consecutive 12-month period, as determined by the employer. A year can be calculated based on a calendar year, an employee’s work anniversary, or a fiscal year, for example. Whatever method an employer chooses to calculate a year must be clearly communicated to the employee.
Uses of Sick and Safe Time
Employees can use their earned sick and safe time for reasons such as:
- The employee’s mental or physical illness, treatment, or preventive care;
- A family member’s mental or physical illness, treatment, or preventive care;
- Absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of the employee or a family member; to seek medical attention related to physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking; obtain services from a victim services organization; obtain psychological or other counseling; seek relocation or take steps to secure an existing home due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking; or seek legal advice to take legal action, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or resulting from domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking;
- Closure of the employee’s workplace due to weather or public emergency or closure of a family member’s school or care facility due to weather or public emergency; and
- When determined by a health authority to health care professional that the employee or a family member is at risk of infecting others with a communicable disease.
If the need to use earned sick and safe time is foreseeable, an employer may require up to seven days advance notice. If the need is not foreseeable, an employer may require notice of the need for leave as soon as practicable. However, an employer may require notice of the need to use earned sick and safe time only if the employer has a written policy with reasonable procedures for doing so and provides that policy to employees.
Actions Businesses Should Take
Employers that have existing paid sick time or PTO policies should review them to determine whether they meet the minimum requirements of Minnesota’s new earned sick and safe time law. If a business does not already have a compliant policy, it should begin planning for the adoption of written policies ahead of the law’s January 1, 2024, effective date.
For additional information, please visit the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.