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Effective Jan. 1, 2024, Minnesota’s earned sick and safe time law requires employers to provide paid leave to employees who work in the state.

What is sick and safe time?

Sick and safe time is paid leave employers must provide to employees in Minnesota that can be used for certain reasons, including when an employee is sick, to care for a sick family member or to seek assistance if an employee or their family member has experienced domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking.

Who is eligible for sick and safe time?

An employee is eligible for sick and safe time if they:

  • work at least 80 hours in a year for an employer in Minnesota; and

  • are not an independent contractor.

Temporary and part-time employees are eligible for sick and safe time. Sick and safe time requirements will not apply to building and construction industry employees who are represented by a building and construction trades labor organization if a valid waiver of these requirements is provided in a collective bargaining agreement.

How much sick and safe time can employees earn?

An employee earns one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked and can earn a maximum of 48 hours each year unless the employer agrees to a higher amount.

At what rate must sick and safe time be paid?

Sick and safe time must be paid at the same hourly rate an employee earns when they are working.

What can sick and safe time be used for?

Employees can use their earned sick and safe time for reasons such as:

  • the employee’s mental or physical illness, treatment or preventive care;   

  • a family member’s mental or physical illness, treatment or preventive care;

  • absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of the employee or a family member;

  • closure of the employee’s workplace due to weather or public emergency or closure of a family member’s school or care facility due to weather or public emergency; and

  • when determined by a health authority or health care professional that the employee or a family member is at risk of infecting others with a communicable disease.

Which family members are included?

 Employees may use earned sick and safe time for the following family members:

  1. their child, including foster child, adult child, legal ward, child for whom the employee is legal guardian or child to whom the employee stands or stood in loco parentis (in place of a parent);

  2. their spouse or registered domestic partner;

  3. their sibling, stepsibling or foster sibling;

  4. their biological, adoptive or foster parent, stepparent or a person who stood in loco parentis (in place of a parent) when the employee was a minor child;

  5. their grandchild, foster grandchild or step-grandchild;

  6. their grandparent or step-grandparent;

  7. a child of a sibling of the employee;

  8. a sibling of the parents of the employee;

  9. a child-in-law or sibling-in-law;

  10. any of the family members listed in 1 through 9 above of an employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner;

  11. any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship; and

  12. up to one individual annually designated by the employee.

What additional sick and safe time responsibilities do employers have?

In addition to providing their employees with one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours each year, employers are required to:

  • include the total number of earned sick and safe time hours available for use, as well as the total number of earned sick and safe time hours used, on earnings statements provided to employees at the end of each pay period;

  • provide employees with a notice by Jan. 1, 2024 — or at the start of employment, whichever is later — in English and in an employee’s primary language if that is not English, informing them about earned sick and safe time; and

  • include a sick and safe time notice in the employee handbook, if the employer has an employee handbook.

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has created a uniform employee notice that employers can use. It is in English and translated into 17 additional languages; employers can request additional languages.

Current sick and safe time local ordinances

Earned sick and safe time local ordinances already exist in the cities of Bloomington, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Employers must follow the ESST requirements most favorable to their employees.

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