On May 29, 2019, the City of Minneapolis issued a notice stating that it will be enforcing its Sick & Safe Leave Ordinance against non-resident employers (employers located outside of the City, but with employees who perform work in the City), for all hours worked in the City since July 1, 2017. In a token gesture, the City noted it “may exercise some enforcement discretion during summer 2019” for employers attempting to comply. Recall this has been in litigation for years, and the final outcome was the win for the City (you can search my blog for the key term “Minneapolis”).
Generally, employers must either: (1) credit covered employees with 1 hour of leave per 30 hours worked in the City or (2) front-load a lump sum of 48 hours for the first year of employment and 80 hours at the beginning of every year thereafter. Both methods may be capped at 80 hours in a leave bank overall (and 48 hours accrued per year). Recall that employers with 6 or more employees must provide the paid leave, while under 6 may provide paid leave but must provide at least unpaid leave.
For employers who did not adopt (or already have) a time off policy that is compliant with the Ordinance on July 1, 2017, the City notes that compliance may be achieved “without historical calculations at this time by crediting each covered employee with 80 hours of accrued sick and safe time.” In other words, if each employee that has worked in the City since July 1, 2017 is provided 80 hours of accrued sick and safe time today, the City seems to suggest that no enforcement action will be taken for the employer’s historical failure to provide such leave. Of course, this is way easier said then done with employees who perform periodic work in the City.
If you are unsure as to whether your paid time off or unpaid time off policy complies, and you have employees who perform(ed) work in the City of Minneapolis, you should seek legal advice regarding such compliance. While the City has issued this notice, keep in mind that no notice trumps a law (in this case the Ordinance), and is not binding, and so employers should tread lightly when working through this issue.