Minnesota Employment Law Changes: Sick and Safe Leave

My three-part series on Minnesota employment law changes will be coming to an end with this last article. Previously, I wrote on the new cannabis law changes and the effects of the legalization on employers and employees. I then wrote on non-compete law changes and the same effect it would have on employers and employees. This article will be on the new changes to paid sick and safe leave however, I will be taking a different approach to the article style for this final installment. I will be keeping it as informational as possible and will not be diving too deep into the specifics like I have with previous articles.

What is the new law?

The current law regarding sick and safe leave will remain in effect until December 31, 2023 and will then be updated to the new version on January 1, 2024. This new version will be a state-wide mandated policy that can apply to anyone who works at least 80 hours in a year for an employer and who is not an independent contractor. Temporary and part-time employees are eligible for this as well. There are exceptions to building and construction employees who have a valid waiver in a collective bargaining agreement.

Employees will earn 1 hour of sick and safe leave for every 30 hours worked. This is capped at 48 hours a year unless the employer agrees to a different amount.

What can an employee use it for?

Sick and safe leave can be used for a few different things. Obviously, this law allows an employee to use the accrued time for physical, or mental illness, and the treatment of the same. In addition to the employee, this time can be used for family members who fall ill as well.

The safe part of it comes into play a bit differently. Safe leave can be used for an employee or family member that has fallen victim to abuse (domestic and sexual), stalking of the employee or a family member, and closure of the employee’s workplace due to weather or public emergency. This will also apply to a closure of a family member’s school or care facility for the same reasons.

If the employee’s healthcare provider deems it necessary, the employee can use this time due to the threat of the employee or a family member infecting others with an illness.

Does this new law affect all employers?

Yes, Minnesota employers with one or more employees are required to provide earned sick and safe leave starting January 1, 2024.

Employment Law Workshop

If you are interested in learning more about the new Minnesota employment laws, you are invited to a Workshop on Thursday, November 16, 2023 at Cragun’s Resort. Breen & Person’s attorney, Laura J. Hansen, and employment law attorney, V. John Ella, with Fafinski, Mark & Johnson will host and present this Workshop. For more information, please call our Walker office at 218-547-3800 or email me at walkeradmin@breenandperson.com.

Any requests for topic suggestions may be sent to rene@breenandperson.com. Although we cannot give you legal advice through the column, we can provide some general information that may be helpful for you to know. Our purpose is to educate and we hope that you can take something new away from this column each time you read it.