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Minnesota Enacts Update To Earned Sick And Safe Time Law
Monday, June 17, 2024

Highlights

  • Changes to Minnesota’s Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) law clarify ambiguity surrounding some provisions
  • The majority of the clarifications and updates to the ESST law are effective immediately
  • The most significant changes relate to reporting and usage requirements

Since Minnesota’s Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, Minnesota employers have been struggling with implementing some provisions due to ambiguity or perceived impracticality. On May 24, Gov. Tim Waltz signed legislation amending the ESST law that contains a mix of new and revised provisions, most of which went into effect immediately. 

The changes of most practical importance to companies employing workers in Minnesota relate to tracking ESST, reporting requirements, using paid time off to satisfy ESST requirements, and covered employees:

  • The amendments override the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s position that employers must track ESST using the smallest increment of time the employer uses for tracking time worked. Instead, employers are permitted to require ESST use in increments of no less than 15 minutes.
  • Employers are no longer required to include information about accrued and used ESST on each earnings statement issued to an employee. Instead, employers have the option of making the information available to employees through an electronic system, as long as the employer provides access to a computer that employees can use to check their ESST balance during regular working hours.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2025, employers who meet their ESST obligations through a general paid time off policy will have to follow ESST requirements with respect to all such paid time off. In other words, employers who do not maintain a separate ESST bank will be required to allow all available time off that can be used for personal illness or injury to be taken as ESST, as long as the time qualifies as ESST under the statute.
  • An employee is immediately covered and may begin using ESST if it is anticipated that the employee will work at least 80 hours in a year for an employer in Minnesota. The previous statutory language had suggested that an employee was not eligible for ESST until they had actually worked 80 hours in the state.

The amendments also include new information on how to calculate pay for ESST and use of ESST as bereavement leave.

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