Employment Law Minnesota
Employers have various laws that they need to stay in compliance with. Below are the main points for each and links to the most useful resources related to it.
When you hire a new employee, there are many things that need to be done.
The first one is obtaining employee withholding information, such as Forms W-4 and W-4MN. For the W-4, there is both a federal and Minnesota one that needs to be completed. To determine how to complete the W-4, this tax withholding estimator can be used.
The second is completing Form I-9 within three business days of the employee’s first day of work. This Form must be retained by the employer for three years following the date of hire or one year after the individual’s employment is terminated, whichever is later.
The next step is sending a New Hire Report to the state. This should be sent within 20 days of hiring. This can be done electronically or non-electronically (under ‘How’ tab).
The last thing is ensuring that you provide employees with their W-2 form.
A more thorough checklist on steps to take when hiring a new employee can be found here.
Each employee should be given an employee notice at the start of their employment and a signed copy of it must be kept on file. This notice must contain the following information: required information about an employee’s employment status; terms of employment; and a statement, in multiple languages, that informs employees that they may request the notice be provided to them in another language. A template notice is provided in the hyperlink above.
When an employer fails to or avoids paying for wage earned by employees, it is called wage theft. The notice must contain required information about an employee’s employment status and terms of employment and a statement, in multiple languages, that informs employees that they may request the notice in another language.
As of January 1, 2022, the new minimum wages are as follows:
- Large employer: $10.33/hour
- Small employer: $8.42/hour
- 90 day training wage (under 20 years of age): $8.42/hour
- Youth wage (under 18 years of age): $8.42/hour
Under Minnesota law, employers are required to pay overtime for all hours worked in excess of 48 hours in a 7 day period. Under federal law though, the requirement is for overtime to be paid for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a seven-day period. The overtime rate, under both Minnesota and federal law, is to be at least one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
However, holiday hours, vacation time, or sick leave are not counted as overtime hours.
Work Breaks and Meal Periods
Non-exempt employees must receive the following: meal time for employees that work 8 or more hours consecutively, a paid break if it is less than 20 minutes, and restroom breaks within each four consecutive hours of work.
Sick and Safe Leave
Sick and safe leave applies to employers that have 21 or more employees at one site and employers who offer personal sick leave benefits for absence from work due to an employee’s illness or injury. Further, the specific employees that this applies to are those who have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least half-time during the past 12 months.
For sick and safe leave, employees must be allowed to take off to not just care for themself, but also their family members. Sick leave does not need to be paid. However, if the employer does provide paid time off for employees when sick or injured, then paid time off must also be provided when employees are taking off for a family member’s sickness or injury.
To see a sample sick and safe leave policy, click here.
Pregnancy Accommodations at Work
If an employer has more than 15 employees, then it must provide pregnant workers with the following accommodations when requested: more frequent restroom, food and water breaks; seating; and limits on lifting more than 20 pounds. Other accommodations may be provided upon request after advice from a health care provider or certified doula.
Pregnancy or Parental Leave from Work
If an employee works for a company with 21 or more employees at one site; has worked at least half the time during the past 12 months; and has been with the company for a total of at least 12 months, then they may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during or following pregnancy.
This can be taken for the following situations: prenatal care; pregnancy or related health conditions; childbirth or adoption; or bonding time by a birthing or non-birthing parent after the birth or adoption of the child.
Lactation Breaks at Work
Nursing and lactating employees must receive paid breaks to express milk at work. However, this does not require that current unpaid break time, such as a meal break, to be converted to paid break time.
Invest in experienced legal counsel so you can focus on providing quality care (and enjoying quality time for yourself) rather than guessing and worrying about the law.