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Minneapolis Wage Theft Ordinance to Go Into Effect on January 1, 2020

Joining a chorus of cities and states addressing concerns involving employers’ failure to properly calculate employees’ pay, or to pay them at all, allowing employees to work “off the clock,” or take unauthorized or illegal deductions, on August 8, 2019, the City of Minneapolis enacted an ordinance prohibiting “wage theft,” which will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

Minneapolis Follows the State’s Lead and Enacts its Own Wage Theft Ordinance

On August 8, 2019, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed the Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance, creating new requirements for Minneapolis employers and giving the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights enforcement power. If Mayor Jacob Frey signs the Ordinance as is expected, the ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2020, and will largely duplicate, and then expand upon, the recently enacted state wage theft law that went into effect on July 1, 2019.1 While Minnesota employers are working diligently to interpret and come into compliance with state wage theft law’s requirements, Minneapolis employers will soon face additional requirements.

Minnesota Wage Theft Law Update

Minnesota’s wage theft law, which largely went into effect on July 1, 2019, created new documentation and recordkeeping requirements for employers, including a required written notice that must be distributed to employees and additional earnings statement requirements. This new law also increased the civil penalties applicable to employers that commit recordkeeping violations and created criminal penalties for “wage theft.” The criminal provisions of the law went into effect on August 1, 2019.

Minnesota Wage Theft Statute, Part II: New Notice, Disclosure, and Recordkeeping Requirements

In our previous article, we summarized the key provisions of Minnesota’s new “wage theft” law. This article focuses specifically on the notices and disclosures employers are required to provide to their employees under the law, as well as new recordkeeping requirements.

Minnesota Legislature Enacts Sweeping Wage Theft Law

The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up its 2019 legislative session with a one-day special session last month that resulted in the passage of an omnibus appropriations bill, the Jobs and Economic Development Omnibus. The legislation includes new and surprising notice and recordkeeping mandates for Minnesota employers and creates new civil and criminal penalties for “wage theft.” In addition, it grants more authority to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) to enforce compliance with the new statute. Governor Tim Walz signed the bill, which takes effect on July 1, 2019, for some provisions and on August 1, 2019, for certain criminal penalties.

Minnesota Adds New Wage Payment and Recordkeeping Requirements; Criminalizes ‘Wage Theft’

Minnesota has enacted detailed new recordkeeping requirements for employers, effective July 1, 2019, and wage theft protections for employees, effective August 1, 2019.

Minnesota Wage Theft Bill with New Employer Requirements Takes Effect August 1

In one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting employers in many years, the Minnesota Legislature passed, and Governor Walz signed, the Jobs and Economic Development Omnibus bill that includes new wage theft protections for employees and new requirements for employers. The wage theft bill is one of the few pieces of bipartisan employment legislation that survived the 2019 legislative session. The law constitutes a very significant change in wage payment requirements and enforcement. It includes increased civil enforcement and recordkeeping requirements for employers, as well as new criminal penalties for intentional wage theft. These changes will go into effect on August 1, 2019.

Non-Minneapolis Employers Must Comply With Minneapolis Paid Sick Leave Law, Appeals Court Rules

Minneapolis’ Sick and Safe Ordinance extends to any employee who performs at least 80 hours of work per benefit year in the City of Minneapolis, even if his or her employer is not located within the city’s limits, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has held. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce v. Minneapolis, No. A18-0771 (Apr. 29, 2019). This significant ruling stretches Minneapolis-imposed requirements to non-Minneapolis employers, including — in some instances — requiring them to provide paid time off to their employees.

Minnesota Legislative Update, Part III: Regular Session Winds Down With Many Bills Left in the Hopper

As the 2019 regular session of the Minnesota Legislature draws to a close, lawmakers in St. Paul are deadlocked on the budget bill. As a result, many of the bills we reported on in our previous articles are stalled in committee or unlikely to see final action this year. The legislature must end its regular session on Monday, May 20, 2019, and it’s unclear whether there will be a special session. Here, we report on some of the most watched bills, tell you which ones stand a chance of passage, and provide updates on the bills we summarized in our two previous reports. Most of those bills are not expected to move to final action this year.

The Battle over the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Continues: Court Holds the Law Applies to Employers Outside City Limits

On April 29, 2019, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned a state district court ruling and found that the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (SST Ordinance) applies to employers outside the City limits. Previously, an injunction prohibited Minneapolis from enforcing the SST Ordinance against employers that did not have facilities within the City. Unless this decision is appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court within 30 days—which is likely—the injunction will be dissolved and all employers will have to provide protected sick and safe time to employees who work at least 80 hours a year in the City, regardless of where the employer has facilities.
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