In April 2022, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed Frontline Worker Payments into law to aid Minnesotans who worked in one of 15 frontline sectors identified in the legislation. The public purpose of the law is to “provide payments to frontline workers whose work put them at risk of contracting COVID-19 during the peacetime emergency declared by the governor in Executive Order 20-01.” After the bill was signed into law, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) was tasked with developing an application process and guidance for employers and employees to facilitate the frontline worker pay program. DOLI opened the application period for the program on June 8, 2022, announcing the period will remain open through July 22, 2022.
To be eligible for frontline worker pay under the program, employees must (1) have been employed for at least 120 hours in Minnesota in one or more frontline sectors between March 15, 2020 and June 30, 2021; (2) have been unable to telework due to the nature of the individual’s work and worked in close proximity to individuals outside of the individual’s household during the 120 or more hours worked during the relevant period; (3) and meet certain income requirements. The law also requires all employers in a frontline sector to provide written notice, no later than June 23, 2022, advising all employees who may be eligible to receive frontline worker pay about the frontline worker pay program and how to apply for benefits.
To facilitate the employer notice requirement, DOLI has now published a sample notice for employers to use, as well as fact sheets on application basics and guidance for helping employees determine whether they are a frontline worker, in addition to Frontline Worker Pay Program FAQs, which DOLI may update during the application period. Employers can also sign up for ongoing updates on the program through the Frontline Worker Pay website.
Employers should seek to stay updated on the Frontline Worker Pay program throughout the summer as DOLI may continue to provide new updates and resources on the program.