Minneapolis/St. Paul Employers Required to Provide Paid Sick Leave

In 2016, Minneapolis and St. Paul passed ordinances requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees, effective July 1, 2017. Subsequent litigation initiated by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce led Hennepin County Judge Mel Dickstein to issue a temporary injunction on January 19, 2017 precluding application to employers outside of Minneapolis whose employees only “occasionally” work in Minneapolis. This is merely a temporary injunction, and a full hearing is expected on the merits. (Note that the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and its co-plaintiffs have since appealed this determination in their pursuit of blocking the ordinance altogether. The matter is still on appeal.)

Both the Minnesota House and Senate then passed state legislation blocking the city ordinances. Earlier this week, however, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed this legislation. As a result, all Minneapolis and St. Paul based private employers are required to comply with the ordinances, effective July 1, 2017. In sum, the ordinances require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work over 80 hours/year. Paid sick leave accrues at a rate of at one hour per 30 hours worked. Minneapolis’ ordinance exempts “small employers” (five or fewer employees) from any paid leave requirements. But such small Minneapolis employers are still required to provide unpaid leave. St. Paul’s ordinance provides a 6-month grace period for St. Paul employers with twenty-three or fewer employees. They have until January 1, 2018 to comply.

Effective January 1, 2023, all employers will be subject to full enforcement.

Private employers within the limits of Minneapolis and St. Paul should ensure compliance with these ordinances by the dates specified therein. Employers outside of city limits with employees who work within Minneapolis or St. Paul are strongly encouraged to consult with legal counsel as soon as possible to determine their obligations under the ordinances.

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