October 04, 2016

Minneapolis Amends Its Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance

On September 28, 2016, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges approved the Minneapolis City Council’s unanimous adoption of several amendments to the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance, which was originally passed on May 27, 2016.

The adopted amendments addressed several issues that were raised after the Ordinance’s adoption in May, including:

Sick and Safe Time Must Be Paid at the Employee’s “Regular Rate of Pay”

An employee who uses sick and safe time must be compensated at his or her “regular rate of pay” for the hours the employee was scheduled to work. “Regular rate of pay” is now defined to mean the employee’s hourly rate (or equivalent rate for an exempt employee) and to exclude tips, commissions, expense reimbursements, bonuses, overtime payments and certain other types of payments.

Accrual of Sick and Safe Time Occurs in One-Hour Increments

The amendments clarify that sick and safe time shall accrue only in hour increments.

Front-Loading Accrual Allowed

Employers may front load sick and safe time by providing (1) at least 48 hours of sick and safe time following 90 days of employment, and (2) at least 80 hours of sick and safe time beginning each subsequent calendar year.

Sick and Safe Time Recordkeeping May Be Consistent With an Employer’s Existing Practices

The amendments clarify that the frequency with which an employer records sick and safe time accrual may be in a manner consistent with the employer’s current payroll practices, but not less frequent than monthly.

Employer Records of Sick and Safe Time Must Include Certain Information

The amendments add more prescriptive language for records that must be kept by the employer to include hours worked (for non-exempt employees), hours of leave available for sick and safe time purposes, and hours of leave used for sick and safe time purposes.

Employers Are Not Required to Track Hours Worked by Occasional Workers

Employers will no longer be required to “track hours worked in the [City of Minneapolis]” for employees “who occasionally perform work in the [City of Minneapolis].”

Employers Can Comply With the Ordinance’s Requirements by Offering the Same or More Generous Leave

Finally, the amendments specify that employer plans offering the same or more generous accrual and use of leave consistent with the Ordinance’s requirements are not required to provide additional sick and safe time leave. However, this does not mean that an employer who has such a policy is exempt from other provisions of the Ordinance (such as the recordkeeping requirements).

City Officials are also working on an FAQ document that is scheduled to be released sometime in October 2016. Also, the Ordinance continues to contemplate rulemaking, but that has not yet occurred.

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