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Preparing for Duluth, Minnesota’s Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Taking Effect January 1, 2020

he City of Duluth, Minnesota’s Sick and Safe Time Ordinance takes effect on January 1, 2020. Duluth is the third Minnesota city (joining Minneapolis and St. Paul) to impose sick and safe time leave requirements on employers.

Minneapolis Enacts ‘Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance’ on Heels of Minnesota’s Wage Theft Legislation

The Ordinance largely incorporates the State of Minnesota’s wage theft legislation (Minnesota Wage Theft Laws). (For details of the Minnesota wage theft legislation, see our article, Minnesota Adds New Wage Payment and Recordkeeping Requirements; Criminalizes ‘Wage Theft.’) The Minneapolis law, however, also imposes additional obligations for employers with respect to any employee who works in the City of Minneapolis at least 80 hours in one year. (Significantly, Minneapolis has taken the enforcement position that “an individual who attends a convention, conference, training, educational class, or similar in the City, but performs no other work in the City for an Employer, is not covered by the Ordinance.” [Emphasis added.]) Employees alleging violations under the Ordinance may file a complaint with the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights within two years of the alleged violation, or three years of the alleged violation if the violation is found to be “willful.”

Minnesota DLI Issues Updated FAQ on Wage Theft, Other Employer Expectations

In late July 2019, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) released an update to its FAQ on Minnesota’s new wage theft law, including 37 new questions and answers to further clarify what is expected of employers under the statute. The new FAQ provides important guidance on several key points, while at the same time leaving other important questions unanswered. The following is a summary of several of the most commonly asked questions and DLI’s answers.

Just Keep Driving: Minnesota Courts Continue to Block ADA Title III “Drive-By” Suits

In early 2018, Minnesota federal courts issued two decisions dismissing so-called “drive-by” disability access lawsuits under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That trend has continued in 2019. In fact, in just the past two months, courts in Minnesota have dismissed, in whole or in part, no fewer than six Title III cases, again reminding business owners that liability is far from automatic in these lawsuits.

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.
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