Employers (wherever located) with employees working in Minneapolis – don’t forget that the minimum wage increases today, July 1, 2019, to $11/hr for small businesses and $12.25 for large businesses.

Quick Facts – Reminders:

  • Small business = 100 or fewer employees.
  • Large business = more than 100 employees.
  • An “employee” is someone who works at

Today the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MNDOLI) issued employers yet another reminder not to engage in “wage theft” from employees, and encouraged subscribers to share the message. So, I’ll do my civic duty and share. In short, MNDOLI reminds employers of the following (with my comments below each point):

  • Pay your employees the

On November 14, 2018, the St. Paul City Council passed an ordinance implementing a minimum wage of $15 for employees who work within the geographic boundaries of St. Paul. Employees based outside of St. Paul, but who occasionally perform work in St. Paul, are also covered if, “over the course of one week [the employee]

The U.S. Department of Labor issued several opinion letters on November 8, 2018.  One of those, Opinion Letter FLSA2018-27, reproduces verbatim the text of Opinion Letter FLSA2009-23, which was (one of many) withdrawn by the Obama Administration “for further consideration”. This Opinion Letter clarifies the definition of a “tipped employee” for purposes of the

Late last year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, requesting comments related to rescinding portions of the 2011 Obama Administration tip pooling regulations that prohibit an employer from controlling or diverting tips (tips remain with the employee they are given to and up to him/her to share with others

MinnesotaJudicialCenterHope is on the horizon for Minnesota restaurants! On September 20, it was announced that the Minnesota Supreme Court will hear the appeal from the novel decision, Burt v. Rackner, Inc. d/b/a Bunny’s Bar & Grill (MN App. June 27, 2016). As I wrote about on August 4, 2016, the plaintiff, Todd Burt, was

CookUnless you’ve been sleeping for the past decade, you know that Minnesota is an at-will employment state. Thus, either an employee, or an employer, may terminate the employee’s employment at any time, with or without notice. But what happens if an employee is terminated for not sharing tips with other employees? Despite not losing tips

BarberI got asked a great question the other day by a colleague that made me think a bit, so I thought, what a perfect topic for a blog.  So, here’s the question that started it all: Can a Minnesota employer in the service industry pay an employee the greater of: (a) minimum wage for each hour worked; or (b) commissions earned for services rendered during an employee’s shift?  Her questioning this practice stems from the thought that the employer is affirmatively stating that, for some hours, $0 is attributed to certain time at work.  In this example, let’s use a small employer, a hair salon.  The employee is scheduled to work from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and has 3 clients on the books (with 8 total slots for the day).  The rest of the day, the employee relies on walk-ins to fill her schedule, does other tasks around the salon to keep busy, or just waits around waiting for someone to walk-in. Some days she may leave to run errands. The employee earns $15/hr. commissions for each hour-long appointment, but credits $0/hr. for time without an appointment.

How Can the Employee Be Paid?

Can the employer pay the employee minimum wage for 8 hours of work ($7.25 x 8 = $58)?   Yes, but I know you know that.  That’s the easy one.  Can the employer just pay the employee for the 3 clients the employee serviced if the employee stayed all 8 hours? No – I know you know that too. As 3 x $15 = $45, the minimum wage requirements have not been met and the employer would have to pay the additional $13 ($58-$45) to get the employee up to minimum wage for all hours worked.  A Minnesota employer must pay for all hours worked, including waiting time, on-call time, training time, and any other time the employee is restricted to the employer’s premises.  Minn. Rules 5200.0120.  If the employee is free to leave during nonscheduled time (but must be able to receive a call to come back for an appointment), the employee is no longer working and need not be paid – so long as there are no restrictions that the employee remain close to the premises.

Can the employer just pay the employee commissions earned for services rendered during the shift?  
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MoneyOn February 25, 2016, MNDOLI issued its 2015 Minnesota Minimum Wage Report.  The report details trends and statistics with respect to minimum wage workers in Minnesota, but seemingly only to “toot” Minnesota’s own horn. Adjusted for inflation, Federal minimum wage has dropped 26% from 1974 to 2013, while Minnesota’s minimum wage is about 2% more than it was in 1974.  This means that Minnesota’s employers are paying more now for minimum wage workers than it was in 1974.
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