The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have both passed ordinances requiring employers to adopt Sick and Safe Time leave policies. Both ordinances are set to go into effect on July 1, 2017. Employers in these cities should familiarize themselves with the rules of each ordinance.
What is the effective date of the ordinances?
- Effective July 1, 2017 – Minneapolis and St. Paul
- Effective January 1, 2018 – St. Paul Employers with fewer than 24 employees
Who is covered by the new ordinances?
Employees who work within the geographic boundaries of each respective city for at least 80 hours per year. This applies to employers within the city limits of Minneapolis or St. Paul. Minneapolis also applies its ordinance to employers outside the city limits.
- The Hennepin County District Court issued a temporary injunction on January 19, 2017, that prohibits enforcing the ordinance against any “employer resident outside the geographical boundaries of the city”. The City of Minneapolis agreed to follow the Court ruling until it is modified or rescinded.
What are the new ordinances?
Employees can use sick and safe time for a number or reasons, including but not limited to:
- Their own mental or physical health condition or to receive health care, or to care for a family member for the same purposes
- For absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of the employee or a family member
- For the absence due to the closure of the employee’s place of business by order of a public health official to limit exposure to infectious or hazardous materials
- To accommodate an employee’s need to care for a family member whose school or place of care is closed due to inclement weather, loss of power or other unexpected reasons, or that have been closed by a public health official.
Note: the definition of “family member” extends beyond the immediate family.
Accrual and use of sick and safe time leave:
Although employers can be more generous, both ordinance require that, as a minimum:
- Employees accrue one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours per year. Exempt employees are deemed to work 40 hours by week unless their normal work week is less than 40 hours
- Employees must be allowed to carry over accrued but unused sick and safe time to the following year. The total amount of accrued but unused safe and sick time need not exceed 80 hours at any time
- Sick and safe time begins to accrue at the beginning of the employment relationship or the effective date of the respective ordinances, whichever is later.
- Both ordinances allow employers to satisfy the accrual and carryover by frontloading 48 hours of sick and safe time to an employee, then providing at least 80 hours of earned sick and safe time at the beginning of each subsequent year.
- Employees may begin using accrued sick and safe time beginning 90 calendar days after they begin their employment.
Is Sick and Safe Time paid or unpaid?
For employers with 6 or more employees, sick and safe time is paid leave. For employers with 5 or fewer employees, such leave can be paid or unpaid, but not both.
Sick and safe time is paid leave for all eligible employees.
Notice to Employees:
Employers will be required to post notices to employees in a conspicuous location at each location where an employee works. The notice must be in English and the other languages. Employers who have a handbook must include a notice of employee rights and remedies in the handbook.
The information provided here is general information and not inclusive of every rule and requirement of the ordinances. Business by Design does not provide legal or human resources advice and does not provide services for the tracking required for these ordinances. For specific questions about each of the ordinances follow the links below.