From July 1, 2017 until last Friday night (June 28, 2019), the city of Minneapolis had a paid sick leave law that, per the city’s own rules and FAQs, only applied to employers with a physical location in the city of Minneapolis. As we previously reported, the city had been taking public comment on whether to revise the interpretive guidance on its paid sick leave law in light of a recent court ruling. The city was considering whether it should change its rules and FAQs to require employers without a physical location in the city to also provide paid sick leave. Thus, it is not particularly surprising that the city has made the decision to change its interpretive guidance and expand the law to cover all employers, regardless of whether they have a location in the city.
What is surprising, however, is that the city has decided: (1) to give employers less than three days to comply with this change; AND (2) that those employers have to provide sick leave retroactively. Thus, by Wednesday, July 3, 2019, employers with newly-covered employees as detailed by the ordinance (i.e., have worked in Minneapolis for 80 or more hours in 2017, 2018 or 2019) must: (1) determine how many hours each newly-covered employee has worked since July 1, 2017 and award sick leave in accordance with the law (or, alternatively, provide them with 80 hours—10 days—of paid sick leave); (2) provide notice of the law to those newly-covered employees; and (3) determine how to administratively comply with the law going forward. Note that these changes do not affect employers who have a physical presence in the city or who were otherwise providing sick leave to their employees in accordance with the ordinance.
While this might be a simple matter for some employers, the city’s actions will leave a lot of employers scrambling to try to comply with the city’s new rule changes. Employers with employees in the city who are not already providing statutory sick leave in accordance with the law should review the ordinance and the revised rules and FAQs, or visit the city’s Employer Resources page.