From time-to-time, I meet (read: they got in trouble or were about to) a new client from out of state that has an issue in Minnesota arise – not because of any willful or intentional wrongdoing, but just because they don’t realize some unique aspects of Minnesota law.  So, for those non-Minnesota based Minnesota employers, here’s my top 10 FYI’s for you:

  1. Any severance and release needs to have a 15 day rescission and waiver period under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (this is in addition to a 7 day period for ADEA claims). Accordingly, you’re unlikely to see a Minnesota settlement agreement that pays an employee before the 14 day rescission period runs (i.e. we pay on the 16th day).
  2. Employees who are terminated may ask for a copy of their personnel record/file – this is a defined term in Minnesota.  Employers have 7 business days to provide it.  See my earlier blog here.
  3. Terminated employees may also ask for a statement of reasons for their termination. Employers have 10 business days to provide. I blogged about this as well here – this is more than just a request – likely an attorney is in the background.
  4. Terminated employees who demand their final pay in writing are entitled to it within 24 hours of written demand.  Again – here’s my blog on that…typically I suggest just having the check ready to hand over at the termination meeting.
  5. We do not have a tip credit! ‘Nuff said. Oh, and don’t force shared tips either… not okay.
  6. Employers cannot deduct wages for property damage, lost or stolen property, etc. without written authorization from the employee after the fact.  True story.  Don’t do it. Here’s the law and yep, my blog post.
  7. Minnesota recognizes overtime after 48 hours (not 40).  Minnesota does not recognize the computer exemption. Smart computer people would need to fall under one of the other exemptions (administrative, executive or professional) in order to be paid a salary without overtime.
  8. Minnesota does not require paid meal or rest  breaks.  Employees do get “sufficient time to eat a meal” every 8 hours – which is presumably at least 20 minutes – generally 30 paid, and time to use the bathroom every 4 hours. Here are the rules on that.
  9. We have a Wage Theft Act requiring employers to provide a lot of information on a sheet of paper about the terms of employment – even at-will – which you don’t want to mess with; this includes requirements as to what needs to be on a paycheck stub. MNDOLI’s guidance on this may be an easier read than the statue.
  10. We have sick and safe leave.  Check local ordinances to be sure you are following those (i.e. Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth) if you have employees working there. This could include snow days, dontcha know!

I hope the above helps our non-domestic employers to navigate our waters a bit better. See what I did there?! Land of 10,000 lakes?