As expected, several bills have been introduced in the Minnesota House this session related to wage and hour issues. However, given we are the only state in the nation to currently have a split state legislature (Democrats control the House, while the Republicans control the Senate), it’s doubtful that any of these will actually get traction. In any event, for kicks and giggles, here’s what’s brewing:

  • HF0005: This bill would create a state-wide family and medical benefit insurance program.  The Family and Medical Benefit Insurance Division would provide employees partial wages for up to 12 weeks for leave due to a serious health condition, pregnancy, bonding, safety leave, or family care, and up to 26 weeks for caring for military service members. The insurance program would be financed through a joint employer/employee payroll tax that is yet to be proposed.
  • HF0006: This bill would impose stricter penalties on employers who fail to properly pay employees, even for non-fraudulent instances. An employer would be guilty of a gross misdemeanor for failure to pay any wages due to an employee. Further, the bill gives the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MNDOLI) greater enforcement power by authorizing the issuance of subpoenas. Additionally, employers would be subject to stricter record keeping requirements, and higher fines for violations of those requirements.
  • HF0011: This bill, the “Earned Sick and Safe Time Act” would mandate paid sick and safe time at the state level. Similar to the Minneapolis and St. Paul ordinances, employers would be required to provide 1 hour of paid sick/safe leave for every 30 hours an employee works, up to 48 hours a year. The bill would apply to all employers with one or more employees, and includes temporary and part-time workers who work at least 80 hours a year for the employer in Minnesota.