What Employer’s Need to Know
On May 24, 2023, Governor Walz signed into law amendments to Minnesota Statutes §181.032 and §§181.9445 to 181.9448 regarding Sick and Safe Time (“SST”) for employees in Minnesota. These amendments become effective on January 1, 2024 and include changes to accrual of earned SST, eligible use of SST, conditions for use of SST, and employer records.
Accrual of Earned Sick and Safe Time
Effective on and after January 2, 2024, employees accrue a minimum of 1 hour of SST for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours in a year. Employers must permit full-time and part-time employees to carry over accrued but unused SST into the following year. However, the amount of SST must not exceed 80 hours at any time, unless the employer authorizes a higher amount. SST begins to accrue at the time employment begins.
Permitted Use of SST
Employees may use SST for their own mental or physical illness, injury, or other health condition; need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment; or need for preventive medical or health care. They may also use it to care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or other health condition; who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment; or who needs preventive medical or health care.
Family members include the employee’s child (including foster child, adult child, legal ward, or child for whom the employee is a guardian), spouse or registered domestic partner, sibling (including stepsibling or foster sibling), parent (including biological, adoptive, foster parent, or stepparent), grandchild (including foster grandchild or step grandchild), grandparents (including step grandparents), nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts, child-in-law or sibling-in-law, and any other individual related by blood whose employee’s association is equivalent of a family relationship.
SST may also be used for absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the employee or employee’s family member. This includes seeking medical attention related to physical or psychological injury caused by domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking; obtaining services from a victim services organization; seeking relocation or taking steps to secure an existing home; and seeking legal advice or taking legal actions.
Additionally, employees may use SST if they are unable to work or telework because they are prohibited from working due to health concerns related to the potential transmission of an illness related to public emergency or are seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test for a disease related to a public emergency.
Conditions for Use of SST
If the need to use SST is foreseeable (for example a scheduled doctor’s appointment), employees must provide notice at least 7 days prior to the absence. If the need is unforeseeable, employees must provide notice as soon as practicable.
When an employee uses more than three consecutive days of SST, the employer may require documentation that the SST is covered by any of the permitted reasons. Examples of required documentation include evidence of service or medical treatment provided by a professional.
SST hours are compensated at the employee’s hourly rate of pay (excluding tips, service charges, commissions and overtime rates). The employer does not need to pay employees for any unused SST upon termination of employment.
The law does not prohibit an employee from “donating” SST to another employee nor does it prohibit an employer from giving advanced SST to employees before accrual by the employee.
Employers are required to retain accurate records documenting hours worked by employees and their respective accrued and used SST.
These amendments provide important protections for employees in Minnesota. It is important for both employers and employees to understand their rights and obligations under this new law.
If you are an employer with questions on implementation, schedule a complimentary consultation and find out how we can work together.