On January 1, 2024, employers with employees working in Minnesota are responsible for a new workplace standard—offering paid sick leave. How much do you know about the Minnesota paid sick leave law, known as Earned Sick and Safe Time?
|Minnesota Paid Sick Leave Summary|
|Beginning January 1, 2024, employers must offer employees who work in Minnesota 48 hours of paid time off per year. Employers can front load this paid leave at the beginning of the year, or employees can immediately begin accruing leave at a rate of one hour per 30 hours worked.|
Minnesota paid sick leave FAQs for employers
There is no federal law requiring that employers provide employees with paid sick leave. But, Minnesota is one out of a handful of states that require sick leave.
Keep in mind that the Earned Sick and Safe Time law is different from the Minnesota paid family leave program launching in 2026.
Here’s what employers need to know.
What’s the accrual rate?
The Minnesota sick leave accrual rate is one hour of leave per 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours per year. You can cap the accrual at 48 hours a year, carried over from year to year until an 80-hour maximum accrual “bank” is reached.
Employees begin accruing sick leave on January 1, 2024, or on their first day of employment, whichever date is later
Instead of the accrual method, you can frontload employee hours. To frontload hours, provide each employee with 48 hours of paid leave at the beginning of the year. Alternatively, you can front load 80 hours of paid leave to avoid payout requirements at year-end (see below).
Does the law apply to all Minnesota employers?
Minnesota’s earned sick and safe time applies to all employers with employees working in Minnesota.
However, the sick leave law excludes:
- Independent contractors
- Federal employees
- Building and construction industry employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement
- Certain workers employed by an air carrier as a flight deck or cabin crew
Do you already provide paid time off (PTO) or another type of paid leave plan that is at least as generous as the statewide sick leave? If so, you don’t need to make changes.
What are the qualifying reasons for sick leave usage?
Employees can use sick leave if:
- They or a family member has a mental or physical illness, needs treatment, or seeks preventive care
- They or a family member has suffered from domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking
- Their workplace or a family member’s school or daycare is closed
- They or a family member is at risk of infecting others with a communicable disease, according to a health care professional or authority
Can employees carry over unused leave?
If you use the accrual method, you must let employees carry over time from year to year, until an 80-hour maximum of earned, unused sick leave time is available.
However, you do not have to let employees carry over earned, unused sick leave if you front load time off. But, you may need to pay out leave, depending on how many hours you front load. If you front load 48 hours at the beginning of the year, you must pay employees for any unused sick leave at the end of the year. If you front load 80 hours at the beginning of the year, you do not need to pay out any unused sick leave.
Here’s a brief rundown on carryover rules:
- Accruing sick leave: You must let employees carry over sick leave from year to year.
- Frontloading 48 hours: You do not need to let employees carry over sick leave, but you must pay out unused sick leave at year-end.
- Frontloading 80 hours: You do not need to let employees carry over leave or pay out leave.
Keep in mind that you do not need to pay out earned, unused sick leave hours if an employee leaves your business.
Can employers require advance notice and documentation?
Yes, employers can require advance notice in certain situations. But, you must implement and provide employees with a written policy stating you require advance notice. If an employee has a foreseeable event, you can require up to seven days’ notice. Otherwise, you can ask for notice when practicable.
You can only ask for documentation for sick leave used if an employee takes more than three consecutive days off.
Do you have to include Minnesota sick leave balance on pay stubs?
Yes! You must include the following sick leave-related information on your employees’ pay stubs each pay period:
- Total earned sick leave hours available for use
- Total sick leave hours used each pay period
Remember that pay stubs should also show gross wages, employee and employer taxes, deductions, employer contributions, and net pay. Consider using payroll software to generate pay stubs for you.
What if you’re already subject to local sick leave law?
There are already local sick time ordinances in effect in Bloomington, Duluth, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, Minnesota.
If your business is subject to both local law and the new statewide law, follow whichever is most favorable to the employee.
What do employers need to do?
Paid sick leave will kickstart in Minnesota in 2024. Here’s a closer look at your employer responsibilities:
- Provide paid leave: Set up a system that lets employees accrue one hour of paid leave per 30 hours worked. Pay employees their regular wages when they use sick leave.
- Comply with pay stub requirements: Include the total earned sick leave hours available and used on employee pay stubs each pay period.
- Notify employees: Provide employees with a notice before January 1, 2024 or when an employee first begins working for you, whichever date is later. Include the notice in your employee handbook, if applicable. You can use the sample notice from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
- Track paid sick leave: Keep a record of employees’ earned and used paid sick leave.
Earned sick and safe time lightning round
Employers with employees who work in Minnesota must stay on top of the statewide sick leave law. Here are the key pieces of information to know:
- You must provide paid sick leave beginning January 1, 2024
- Provide one hour of sick leave per 30 hours worked
- You can cap the paid leave accrual at 48 hours per year
- Employees can use paid sick leave if they or a family member is sick, at risk of infecting others with a communicable disease, suffering from sexual assault or abuse, or dealing with a workplace or school closure.
- Online payroll streamlines the process of tracking and managing earned and used sick leave
For more information, head to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry website or FAQ page.This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.