Effective July 1, 2023, all employers will need to provide earned sick and safe leave (ESSL) to ALL employees (including temporary and part-time) who work 80+ hours in Bloomington (no matter where the employer HQ is) pursuant to the new Bloomington City Ordinance. ESSL may generally be used for health needs, school and workplace closure (snow day), domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking – and all tangentially related issues stemming from them (see the ordinance for the full list). Employers with less than 5 employees must provide ESST, though it need not be paid. Employers with more than 5 employees must provide paid ESST.

This ordinance is similar to those already enacted in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. It provides for 1 hour of ESSL for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year. Keep in mind, an employer may always have a more generous policy. Additionally, if you have an existing PTO plan, you may use those hours to fulfill this ordinance requirement, so long as the accrual method is as good as or better than the ordinance, and can be used for the same reasons and in the same manner as in the ordinance. There is a 90 day waiting period before a new hire must be able to use their ESSL (you can allow them to use it sooner). Bloomington’s ordinance also allows an employee to retain ESST for a period of 120 days after their termination of employment (if rehired within 120 days, they get their time back – Minneapolis is 90 days, for example).

Although it has yet to take effect, there is already an amendment proposed that will allow accrual in smaller than 1 hour units (as it is currently drafted) and requires the time available to be on a paystub. The remedies for failure to adhere to the ordinance is also in the amendment – providing for (among other things) – reinstatement and backpay, double damages or $250 (whichever is greater); an administrative fine of up to $1,000, civil fine of $250 – $1,000 for each violation (first time offense), and more.

Employers should download and must post the notice of rights that you can find here in a conspicuous place – wherever you put other employee notices. If more than 5% of employees speak another language, the notice must also be posted in the other language (currently English is only linked, but appears they are working on Spanish, Chinese, Somali, Khmer and Vietnamese).

Finally, it is anticipated that the Minnesota State Legislature will pass a statewide paid Earned Sick and Safe Time Act (HF 19) this session, to take effect in 2024. It proposes the same 1 hour accrual for every 30 worked. Currently, it would not, however, replace any local ordinances (such as Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth or Bloomington) that provide for greater worker rights. In short – now is the time to do some Spring cleaning with your handbook, and if you perform work in any of the major cities, consider a PTO policy that is compliant with all of the current ordinances.