Effective January 1, 2024, all employers (wherever your office/HQ is located) must provide earned sick and safe time (“ESST“) for all employees (yes, including part-time and temporary) who work 80+ hours in a year in Minnesota. Employers may either provide the ESST via a frontloaded lump sum (48 hours if paid out unused ESST at the end of the year or 80 hours if not paid out at the end of the year) or via accrual method. If accrual, employees must earn 1 hour of ESST for every 30 hours worked, and may accrue up to 48 hours per year. Employees may carry over any unused ESST from year-to-year, but employers may cap it at 80 hours. By now, most employers provide some form of paid time off (PTO) – if you have sick and vacation, consider the one bucket PTO. So long as your PTO policy is compliant (it can be more generous), you don’t need a separate ESST bank. Employers do not need to pay out ESST (unless your handbook says you will), but if an employee is rehired in 180 days, their accrued, unused ESST must be reinstated.
ESST can be used to address personal health needs, caring for a family member, workplace or school closure (think: snow days), domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking – and all related issues (see the law for the full list or MNDOLI’s guidance here). ESST must be able to be used in the smallest increment of time tracked by the employer’s payroll system (but in no event more than 4 hours). An employee cannot be required to find a replacement worker.
The term family member in this context encompasses a broad range of expected relationships including an individual annually designated by the employee.
Notice: Employees must be provided with a notice about ESST by January 1, 2024, or at the start of employment, whichever is later. It must be in English and the employee’s primary language. MNDOLI will provide a sample notice.
Handbooks: Must contain an ESST notice.
Paystubs: Must include the total number of ESST available for use, as well as the total number of ESST used, at the end of each pay period.
If an employee can anticipate the need to use ESST in advance, employers may require advance notice. Employers may set a maximum notice requirement of 7 days in advance. When the need for ESST is unforeseeable, employers may request notice as soon as realistically possible. However, employers must have a written policy in place to enforce a notice requirement.
Additionally, a newly hired employees may begin using their ESST as soon as it s accrues, which begins upon employment. This is in contrast with paid sick and safe leave mandates in Bloomington, Duluth, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, all of which have a 90-day waiting period for new employees. Finally, the new state law does not trump any more employee-advantageous ordinances for ESST, so if you are working in those cities as well, be sure your policy is compliant for both state and local ordinances (which may have greater accrual or carry-over, for example).