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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe Schomacker (R)

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Rep. Schomacker Legislative Update

Monday, November 20, 2023

Hello from the State Capitol,


With the new year quickly approaching, I wanted to remind our local employers about a new law approved by the legislative majority and signed into law by Governor Walz, as it will begin to impact us on January 1 and it will take some time to prepare.


The Earned Sick and Safe Time law requires all employers of any size to offer full paid time off.  It must be accrued in a specific format for an expanded list of qualifying events. It also requires new record keeping – or risk significant fines and liability. 


Some background on the bill:


Earned Sick and Safe Time Requirements


  • Mandates all Minnesota employers provide up to six days of paid leave per year per employee. 


  • Employees earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked – up to a maximum of 48 hours. If an employee works full time (240 days = 1,920 hours) every employee will reach six full days of paid leave as you only must work 1,440 hours to reach that goal. 


  • Accrual begins when a qualified employee begins employment and may be used as it is accrued. Salaried employees, who are exempt from the provisions of federal overtime laws, are deemed to work 40 hours per week for purposes of ESS accrual. 


  • Employers must allow employees to carry over accrued but unused ESS time from year to year – not to exceed a maximum of 80 hours – unless they pay out those hours or provide a more generous policy. 


  • Alternatively, employers may pay an employee for their accrued but unused ESS at their regular hourly rate at the end of the year and provide the employee with a bank of at least 48 hours of ESS available for immediate use in the following year. That employee will not accrue additional ESS for that year under this section unless the employer provides for a more generous policy.


  • Requires an employer to keep accurate records about hours worked and the accrual and use of ESS time, and allows an employee to view that employee’s records, and increases the maximum penalty for employers who fail to submit required records to the Department of Labor and Industry from $1,000 to $10,000 per violation.


Eligible Use of Earned Sick and Safe Time

  • The employee’s mental or physical illness, treatment, or preventative care;
  • Care of a sick family member or a family member in need of preventative care or treatment; 
  • Absence related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the employee or a family member; 
  • Closure of the employee’s workplace due to weather or public emergency or closure of a family member’s school or care facility due to weather or public emergency;
  • Inability to telework due to an employer’s policy or while seeking a medical diagnosis or testing for a communicable disease related to a public emergency at the employer’s request or after the employee’s exposure;
  • A health care provider determines the employee, or a family member is at risk of infecting others with a communicable disease. Employees receive their regular hourly rate of employment for ESS time.


While I heard from many of you during the session about this bill, since this passed more than half a year ago I wanted to make sure our small employers have time to implement the law on January 1 and could have the logistics of it figured out before the holidays. 


For more information on the Earned Safe and Sick law, visit the state’s website by clicking here.


Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!