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26 Aug

August 2021 Minnesota HR Legal Updates

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Duluth Passes Ordinance on Expanded Leave Usage

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Duluth, Minnesota.

What happened?
On July 19, 2021, Mayor Larson signed Ordinance #21-023-O into law.

What are the details?
The ordinance, effective August 19, 2021, will expand the covered uses of leave under the Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) Ordinance and amends employer notice and enforcement provisions.

Once in effect, employees will be able to use leave when they lose work hours when their place of employment closes for public health reasons (a covered use with particular meaning during COVID-19). Other pre-existing reasons employees can use leave includes illness, injury, or health condition (and diagnosis, care, or treatment thereof), preventive medical care, and for reasons connected to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.

Employers that maintain employee handbooks will need to include a copy of the company’s ESST policy or, if the employer has a substantially equivalent paid leave benefit to comply with the ordinance, a copy of that equivalent paid leave policy.

Employers must display or provide the city-created poster to employees or provide a company-created notice that advises employees of their rights under the ordinance. The amendments allow employers to comply with this notice requirement by providing new employees a copy of their ESST or substantially equivalent paid leave policy.

In addition to other legal or equitable relief available, the city will order employers to provide employees with written notice of a violation and the corrective action taken.

The ordinance can be found here.

An article detailing the ordinance is here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review their paid leave policies and employee handbook (if applicable) to make any changes needed due to the Ordinance. The law firm, Littler Mendelson P.C., recommends that employers also monitor the city’s ESST webpage for updates to the rules or other generally applicable or COVID-specific FAQ the city publishes.