Aerial_photo_of_downtown_Minneapolis

On May 27, 2016, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, Title 2, Chapter 40 – Workplace Regulations.  The final Ordinance mandates unpaid sick and safe leave for employers with 1 to 5 employees, and paid sick and safe leave for employers with 6 or more employees. Notably, the final amendment includes not only the use for sick and safe care, but also school snow days.

Below is a quick overview of what the ordinance requires, who it applies to, what burdens employers have, and the implications of a violation. However, time will only tell how this plays out in reality.

What Does the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Require?

The Ordinance, effective July 1, 2017, requires employers to provide employees with paid/unpaid sick and safe time.  New employers (with 1 or more employees), will have 12 months to provide unpaid time off. After 12 months, new employers will be subject to the Ordinance in its totality (this 12 month delay will only be allowed for 5 years from the enactment).

Employees working in Minneapolis will accrue sick and safe time unpaid leave at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 worked, up to an annual cap of 48 hours (either calendar or fiscal year). Exempt (salaried) employees are deemed to work 40 hours each week unless their normal workweek is less than 40 hours.  Employees must be allowed to use sick and safe time after 90 calendar days of employment.  Employers must permit an employee to carry over at least 80 hours of accrued but unused sick and safe time into the following year.

Additionally, sick and safe leave time need not be paid this time out at termination. Employees must be able to use the leave in the same increment of time consistent with current payroll practices and existing employer policies (but no more than 4 hours).  They must be compensated at the same hourly rate with the same benefits (except they are not entitled to lost tips or commissions and compensation is only required for the hours the employee was scheduled to work).

Who Is An “Employer” and “Employee” Under the Ordinance?

Does this Ordinance affect your business based in Eden Prairie or Alexandria?  It depends on whether you are a covered employer, defined below.  The Ordinance defines several terms with specificity, but here it is in a nutshell:
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Mom and babyOn April 5, 2016, San Francisco became the first city/county in the U.S. to mandate that employers (with 20 or more employees) provide 6 weeks of supplemental compensation for paid paternal leave pursuant to the Paid Parental Leave for Bonding with New Child Ordinance.  While this may not affect many Minnesota employers presently, certainly other cities and counties may follow in a similar fashion and so I thought readers may like to see how this particular ordinance plays out.

The Ordinance is effective January 1, 2017 (for employers with 50 or more employees), July 1, 2017 (for employers with 35-49 employees) and July 2018 (for employers with 20-34 employees).  However, as the State of California already provides employees with 55% of their salary for up to 6 weeks for the care of newborns or newly adopted children under its state family leave insurance program, the California Paid Family Leave Act, employees working in San Francisco County (while the term “city” is used – the definition of the ordnance includes San Francisco County within the definition of “city” as the city is the only city within the county) will now be entitled to the remaining 45% from their employer (wherever located – including Minnesota).  The weekly benefit amount uses the employee’s highest earning calendar quarter during an approximate 12 month base period – as of January 16, 2016 the maximum weekly benefit amount is $1,129.

Who Is Eligible for Paid Parental Leave in San Francisco?


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Computer stethescopeOn March 11, 2016, the US DOL WHD extended the comment period through April 12, 2016 for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking implementing Executive Order 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors.
First published on February 25, 2016, the proposed rule seeks to implement the Executive Order signed by President Obama on