It’s been quiet around here (from a wage and hour standpoint) in Minnesota! I’ve had very little to blog about – no more! Governor Tim Walz recently signed a bill, Frontline Worker Payments, which will provide a payment to frontline workers up to $1,500. While the actual process is not yet up and running, once the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (MNDOLI) finalizes the online application system, and opens the application period, employers will have 15 days to notify all current workers that may be eligible for the payment. MNDOLI is preparing a form to be used (stay tuned). Employees will then have 45 days to apply. Once the application period closes, there will be a 15 day period for applicants to contest the decision. Once that timeframe is closed, the available money will be split equally upon the eligible applicants, in an amount not to exceed $1,500 per individual.
What are the frontline business sectors?
- Long-term and home care, health care, vocational rehabilitation
- Emergency responders
- Child care, schools
- Food service (including production, processing, preparation, sale and delivery)
- Retail (including sales, fulfillment, distribution and delivery)
- Temporary shelters and hotels
- Building services, including maintenance, janitorial and security
- Ground and air transportation services, public transit
Which employees are eligible within the frontline sector?
- Must have worked at least 120 hours between March 15, 2020 and June 30, 2021 AND unable to telework AND worked in close proximity to others (not in your household).
- Must have an annual income of less than $185,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or $85,000 for all others if the occupation does not have COVID-19 patient care responsibilities.
- Must have an annual income of less than $350,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or $175,000 for all others if the occupation had direct COVID-19 patient responsibilities.
- Must not have received unemployment for more than 20 weeks on a cumulative basis between March 15, 2020 and June 26, 2021.
So, for now this is just a heads-up. I’ll certainly post more as the process develops. Again, employers will only have 15 days to provide notice to employees, so you’ll want to be sure to keep your eyes out!