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Minnesota Passes State-Wide Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law

26 Jun

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Update Applicable to:

All employers with workers performing work in the state of Minnesota. There are no employer size exemptions.

What happened?

On May 23, 2023, Minnesota Governor Walz signed the Earned Sick and Safe Leave (ESSL) bill into law.

What are the details?

The effective date of the new law will be January 1, 2024. Sick and safe time is paid leave employers must provide to employees in Minnesota that can be used for certain reasons, including when an employee is sick, to care for a sick family member or to seek assistance if an employee or their family member has experienced domestic abuse.

The ESSL will not preempt other local paid sick and safe time laws but are similar to those in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Bloomington (going into effect July 1, 2023). In other words, and according to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s website, “employers must follow the most protective law that applies to their employees.” The website indicates that an employee notice, frequently asked questions regarding the new program, and a workplace poster will be “coming soon.”

ESSL covers all employees (including part-time and temporary employees) performing work for their employer in Minnesota for at least 80 hours in a year.  It does not cover independent contractors. An employee earns one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked and can earn a maximum of 48 hours each year unless the employer agrees to a higher amount. Sick and safe time must be paid at the same hourly rate an employee earns when they are working. Unused ESSL hours do not need to be paid out at termination of employment. If that employee is rehired within 120 days, the employer must reinstate the previously accrued but unused ESSL balance.

Notice and Paystub Requirements: Employers are required to include the total number of earned sick and safe time hours accrued and available for use, as well as the total number of earned sick and safe time hours used, on earnings statements provided to employees at the end of each pay period; Employers must also provide employees with a notice by January 1, 2024 — or at the start of employment, whichever is later — in English and in an employee’s primary language if that is not English, informing them about earned sick and safe time; as well as to include a sick and safe time notice in the employee handbook, if the employer has an employee handbook. The Minnesota Department of Labor is to prepare a uniform employee notice form.

For more information, please see the links below:

Minnesota Earned Sick and Safe Time Official Website

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What do employers need to do?

The Littler law firm advises employers that have a paid sick time or PTO policy to review it ensuring that it meets the requirements of the new Minnesota law and includes the required information. Employers that do not have a paid sick time or PTO policy should start planning for adoption of written policies. All employers should work with their payroll providers to ensure they provide a complete statement of earnings.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Minnesota PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.


This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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