A new ordinance went into effect July 1 for the city of Minneapolis called the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. This new local rule is designed to create time off for many employees in the area including part-time staff and paid interns who previously had little to no access to paid time off. Anyone who works 80 hours or more over the course of a year within the geographical boundaries of the city is eligible and counted under this new ordinance.
The ordinance states that any business with six or more employees must provide paid sick and safe time. Those with five or fewer employees, or those that are in their first year of operation, must also provide the same amount of time off, but can choose to make the time unpaid.
This sick time is accrued as employees work at a rate of one hour of sick time saved for every 30 hours worked. It can be capped at 48 hours earned per year, which is six eight hour days of sick time over the course of a year. Businesses also have the ability to limit how much time is rolled over from year to year. While an individual business can choose to allow more sick time and more banking of hours, they must allow a minimum of 80 hours to be banked per employee. The attempted breadth of the ordinance seeks to impose the requirement on any employer who transact any business within their geographic boundaries, including an employee driving through the City. A district court has already refused to enforce this aspect but it is uncertain if the breadth of the ordinance will be limited to employers within the geographic boundaries.
If your business already offers paid time off (PTO) to your team members, which they can use for sick time, and the amount of time available meets the requirements of the new ordinance, then your current plan is probably sufficient. If you’re unsure whether your current policy meets the new requirements, you may want to schedule a review with your human resources and legal professional. You should also be aware that there is a new poster that covers these requirements that you’ll need to put with the rest of your labor and employment posters where employees can read and review the requirements.
Sick and safe time is deigned to be used for many purposes including self-care and family care. One detail to note is that when employees are out of the office and not working, even if they’re being paid for sick time, they are not accruing further sick time. HR will need to ensure they have a system to track hours worked and calculate available and used sick time accurately and keep records.
In St. Paul, a similar new rule called the Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance will go into effect January 1, 2018. It applies to businesses with 24 or more employees but operates with similar rules to the Minneapolis ordinance.
For help reviewing your sick time or paid time off policy and making sure it is in compliance with the new ordinances, contact the team at Virtus Law Firm by calling 612.888.1000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you understand how the law affects your business and help you structure a plan that benefits both you and your team.