Minnesota

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours comprised of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that do not need to coincide with the calendar week. It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent. Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged.

 

Minnesota state law mandates that employers must pay employees for all hours worked including training time, on-call time, cleaning time, waiting time, or any other time when they must be on the work premises either involved in performing duties in connection with employment or waiting until work is prepared or available.

Overtime

Overtime rates must be at least 1½ the employee’s regular rate of pay. The regular rate of pay is determined by dividing the employee’s total pay in any workweek by the total hours worked in the workweek. An employee’s pay includes credits allowed against the minimum wage for meals and/or lodging. No employer may employ an employee for a workweek longer than 48 hours, unless the employee receives compensation for employment in excess of 48 hours in a workweek at a rate of at least 1.5 times the regular rate at which the employee is employed.

 

The state of Minnesota or a political subdivision may grant time off at the rate of 1.5 hours for each hour worked in excess of 48 hours in a week in lieu of monetary compensation. An employer does not violate the overtime pay provisions by employing any employees for a workweek in excess of 48 hours without paying the compensation for overtime employment prescribed –

      • If the employee is employed under an agreement meeting the requirement of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended; or
      • If the employee is employed as a sugar beet hand laborer on a piece rate basis, provided that the regular rate of pay received per hour of work exceeds the applicable wage provided by at least 40 cents.

Holiday hours, vacation time or sick leave are not counted in figuring overtime hours. Overtime is computed on a seven-day workweek basis regardless of the length of the pay period. Hours worked may not be averaged over the pay period or used to offset shorter workweeks. The workweek can be any consecutive seven-day period that the employer chooses, but may not vary once chosen.

Breaks

An employer must allow each employee adequate time from work within every 4 consecutive hours of work to utilize the nearest convenient restroom. Nothing prohibits employers and employees from establishing rest breaks pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

 

Breast Feeding Break

An employer must provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child. The break time must, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. An employer is not required to provide break time under this section if to do so would unduly disrupt the operations of the employer. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a bathroom or a toilet stall, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public and that includes access to an electrical outlet, where the employee can express her milk in privacy. The employer would be held harmless if reasonable effort has been made.

Annual Leave

Annual Leaves are unpaid leave based on the agreement between employer and employee (FSLA). Company policy can determine when any benefits are due, such as vacation, sick leave, and severance packages. Benefits are payable within 30 days of when they become due.

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time, so long as employees have signed contracts or written statements agreeing to the policy. See Lee v. Fresenius Medical Care, Inc., 741 N.W.2d 117 (Minn. S.Ct. 2007).

An employer would likely be able to implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it, so long as the employee has agreed to the policy in writing. See Lee v. Fresenius Medical Care, Inc., 741 N.W.2d 117 (Minn. S.Ct. 2007).

Minimum Wage

Minnesota’s minimum-wage rates were adjusted for inflation on January 1, 2020, to $10 an hour for large employers and $8.15 an hour for other state minimum wages.

 

 

 

The above information on minimum wages might not be up to date & subject to change. Kindly access the DOL website for the current rates.

Meal Breaks

Employees who work eight hours or more must have sufficient time to eat a meal. A break of 30 minutes or more is usually long enough to be considered a bona fide meal period, although a shorter period may be adequate under special circumstances. Meal periods of less than 20 minutes and meal periods during which an employee is not entirely free from work responsibility may not be deducted from hours worked. An employer need not permit an employee to leave the premises, if the employee is otherwise completely freed from duties during the meal period. Employers and employees may establish different meal periods pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

 

Each employee must be allowed adequate time within every four consecutive hours of work to utilize the nearest convenient restroom. Rest periods of less than 20 minutes may not be deducted from hours worked. Employers and employees may establish different rest breaks pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

Special Leave

Pregnancy Leave

Female employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during or following pregnancy when:

      • They work for a company with 21 or more employees at one site; and/or
      • They worked at least half-time during the past 12 months; and/or
      • They have been with the company for at least 12 months.

An employee may also be able to use employer-provided benefits, like sick leave or disability leave, if she is sick during her pregnancy or to recover after childbirth.

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to the main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Sick and Safety Leave

Employees are entitled to use any available sick leave benefits provided by the employer to care for a child, adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, stepparent, mother-in-law, father-in-law or grandchild who is sick or injured. In addition, an employee may use any personal sick leave benefits to take safety leave (whether or not the employer allows the use of sick leave for that purpose) for assistance to the employee or to his or her relatives.

 

“Safety leave” is leave taken for the purpose of providing or receiving assistance because of sexual assault, domestic abuse or stalking. An employer must provide reasonable accommodations to an employee for health conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth if the employee requests it (with the advice of her licensed health care provider or certified doula).

Family Military Leave

In addition to USERRA, Minnesota law provides employment protections for Minnesota and U.S. military members. National Guard members are entitled to up to four years of unpaid leave to engage in active military service during times of state-declared emergencies.

 

Employers must grant up to 10 working days of unpaid leave to an employee who is an immediate family member of a member of the U.S. armed forces that have been injured or killed while engaged in active service.

 

Employers must grant up to one day per calendar year of unpaid leave to an employee who is an immediate family member of a member of the U.S. armed forces that has been ordered to active service. Nondiscrimination protections for all military service members and their families

Jury Duty Leave

Employers cannot discharge, threaten or coerce an employee because the employee received or responded to a summons, served as a juror or attended court for prospective jury service. Notice requirements apply. Leave may be paid or unpaid, at the employer’s discretion.

New Paid Sick Law – St Paul, Minnesota (Effective November 30, 2017)
      • Employees accrue one hour of ESST for every 30 hours worked.
      • Employees begin accruing ESST on their start date.
      • When calculating how many ESST hours an employee has accrued, employers must count hours actually worked. Employers are not required to count the hours taken off for ESST.
      • For employers who do not have an existing PTO policy, hourly employees accrue ESST when they work overtime hours. In those circumstances, employees continue to earn 1 hour of ESST per 30 hours worked. There is no requirement to provide an “overtime rate” for ESST accrual. There is no obligation to provide accrual on overtime under the accrual method for employers that have an existing PTO policy that is more generous than what is required in the Ordinance.
      • Employees can accrue up to 48 hours in one year unless their employer opts to give them more ESST.
      • Frontloading is permissible as long as it meets the minimal requirements of the Ordinance.
Donor Leave

Employers with 20 or more employees working in at least one site must provide eligible employees with paid leave for bone marrow donation. Employees are eligible for bone marrow donation leave if they:

      • Perform services for hire for an employer for an average of 20 or more hours per week; and
      • Seek to undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow.

Leave may be taken intermittently, but may not exceed 40 work hours unless the employer agrees otherwise. Certification requirements apply.

Civil Air Patrol Leave

Employers with at least 20 employees working in at least one site must provide an unpaid leave of absence to any employee who:

      • Is a Civil Air Patrol member;
      • Performs services for the employer for an average of 20 or more hours per week, and
      • Renders service in his or her capacity as a Civil Air Patrol member on the request and under the authority of the state or any of its political subdivisions.
Parental Leave

Employers with 21 or more employees working in at least one site must provide eligible employees with parenting leave in certain circumstances. The Women’s Economic Security Act(WESA) amended Minnesota’s parental leave laws. To be eligible for parenting leave an employee must have worked for the employer for:

        • At least 12 months (except employees taking school activities leaves); and
        • An average number of hours per week equal to one-half the hours required of a full-time equivalent position (half time) for 12 months. 

An eligible employee is entitled up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Finally, employers who permit paternity or maternity leave for biological parents must, upon request, grant a leave of absence to an adoptive parent to arrange a child’s placement or care for the child after placement. Job protections apply to employees taking parenting leave.

School Activities Leave

All employers must provide employees with up to 16 hours of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to attend their child’s school conferences or school-related activities.

Domestic Abuse Leave

Employers must allow a victim of domestic abuse or harassment a reasonable amount of time off from work to obtain a protective order or harassment restraining order. Notice and certification requirements apply. Leave may be paid or unpaid, at the employer’s discretion.

Witness and Crime Victim Leave

Employers must allow a witness or victim of a crime, or the spouse or family member of a victim of a violent crime, a reasonable amount of time off from work to attend criminal proceedings related to the victim’s case if the employee is subpoenaed or requested by the prosecutor to attend court for the purposes of giving testimony. Notice and certification requirements apply. Leave may be paid or unpaid, at the employer’s discretion.

Election Leave

Employers must permit certain employees to take time off from work without penalty, as follows:

    • Eligible voters are entitled to be absent from work for the time necessary to appear at the employee’s polling place, cast a ballot and return to work on the day of an election, including presidential primary elections. Leave is paid.
    • Employees who are selected to serve as an election judge are eligible to take sufficient time off from work to serve as an election judge. Notice and certification requirements apply. Leave is unpaid.
    • Employees who are appointed by a major political party to be a state central committee member or executive committee member may be absent from work to attend any of the committee’s meetings. Notice and certification requirements apply. Leave is unpaid.
    • Employees who are appointed by a major political party to be a convention delegate or alternative convention delegate may be absent from work to attend any delegates convention, including official convention committee meetings. Notice and certification requirements apply. Leave is unpaid.

Last updated on: June 10th, 2020