Minnesota Earned Sick and Safe Time

June 16, 2023

Beginning in 2024, Minnesota will require employers to provide 48 hours of earned sick and safe leave per year. Learn how this might affect your organization.

At A Glance

Effective January 1, 2024:

  • Minnesota employers must provide all employees with up to 48 hours of earned sick and safe (ESSL) leave annually.
  • Employees may accrue up to 48 hours of ESSL per year under the statute.
  • Employees accrue a minimum of one hour of ESSL for every 30 hours worked.
  • The law does not preempt local sick and safe leave requirements.

What is Minnesota's Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law?

On May 24, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed the Omnibus Jobs Act (Article 12), which includes Earned Sick and Safe Leave (ESSL) provisions. This law will become effective on January 1, 2024.

Which Employers and Employees are Eligible for Minnesota ESSL?

Employer Applicability: ESSL applies to any individual or business with one or more employees (there is no small employer exemption).

Employee Applicability: ESSL applies to all employees, including part-time and temporary employees, performing work for their employer within the state of Minnesota for at least 80 hours in a year.

How do Employees Accrue ESSL time?

Employees accrue one hour for every 30 hours worked and may accrue up to 48 hours of ESSL in the 12- month benefit period. The benefit period may be calendar year, employee anniversary, or some other annual date selected by the employer. Employees may carry over any accrued, unused ESSL into the new 12-month benefit period, but employers may cap the amount of accrued leave to 80 hours. Employees may use ESSL as they accrue it.

Employers may also frontload ESSL at the beginning of a 12-month benefit period by following one of the two methods listed:

  • Granting 48 hours at the beginning of the year if the employer pays out accrued but unused ESSL at the end of the 12-month benefit period at the employees hourly rate; or
  • Granting 80 hours of sick and safe time at the beginning of the year if the employer does not pay out accrued and unused ESSL at the end of the 12-month benefit period.

Employers can be more generous than the state requirements.

Acceptable Uses of ESSL

Eligible employees may take earned sick and safe time for the following reasons:

  • For the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury, or other health condition; need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or need for preventive medical or health care.
  • To care for a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or other health condition; who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or other health condition; or who needs preventive medical or health care.
  • For absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the employee or the employee’s family member; to seek medical attention related to physical or psychological injury or disability cause by domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking; obtain services from a victim services organization; obtain psychological or other counseling; seek relocation or take steps to secure an existing home due to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking; or seek legal advice to take legal action, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or resulting from domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • For closure of the employee’s place of business due to weather, public emergency, or the need to care for a family member whose school or place of care has been closed due to weather or public emergency.
  • Because the employee is unable to work or telework because the employer prohibits them from going to work because of health concerns related to the potential transmission of a communicable illness related to a public emergency; because the employee is seeking or awaiting results of a diagnostic test for or medical diagnosis of a communicable disease related to a public emergency when the employee has been exposed to the communicable disease or the employer has requested the test or diagnosis.
  • Because health authorities or a health care professional said the presence of the employee or family member in the community would jeopardize the health of others due to exposure to a communicable disease, whether or not the employee or family member has actually contracted the disease.

‘’Family member” is defined as:

  • Child, foster child, adult child, legal ward, child for whom the employee is the legal guardian, or child to whom the employee stands or stood in loco parentis;
  • Spouse or registered domestic partner;
  • Sibling, stepsibling, or foster sibling;
  • Biological, adoptive, or foster parent, stepparent, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child;
  • Grandchild, foster grandchild, or step grandchild;
  • Grandparent or step grandparent;
  • Sibling’s child;
  • Parent’s sibling;
  • Child-in-law or sibling-in-law;
  • Family members of a spouse or registered partner;
  • Other individuals related by blood or whose close association with the employee is equivalent to a family relationship; and
  • Up to one individual annually designated by the employee.

How are Employee Pay and Benefits Affected by ESSL?

During any use of ESSL, the employer must maintain coverage under any group insurance policy, group subscriber contract, or health care plan for the employee and any dependents, as if the employee were not using earned sick and safe time, provided the employee continues to pay any employee share of the cost of such benefits.

An employee returning from a leave under this section is entitled to:

  • Return to employment at the same rate of pay the employee had been receiving when the leave commenced, plus any automatic adjustments in the employee's pay scale that occurred during the leave period.
  • Retain all accrued pre-leave benefits of employment and seniority as if there had been no interruption in service and nothing under this section prevents the accrual of benefits or seniority during the leave pursuant to a collective bargaining or other agreement between the employer and employees.

ESSL Notice and Recordkeeping Requirements

Employers must give notice to all employees regarding ESSL rights, including the amount of ESSL, the accrual year, the terms of use, requirements for providing notice of use, and prohibition of retaliation. The employer must provide this information in English and in the employee’s primary language on January 1, 2024, or at the commencement of employment (in addition to the new hire notice), whichever is later.

If an employer provides an employee handbook to its employees, it must include notice of employee rights and remedies regarding ESSL. The Minnesota Department of Labor will provide an employee notice form.

Employers must provide, at the end of each pay period, each employee with an earning statement covering that pay period. In addition to existing wage statement requirements, found here, the statement must also include:

  • The total number of ESSL hours accrued and available for use, and
  • The total number of ESSL hours used during the pay period

How are Local and Current Policies Affected by the State ESSL Law?

The State ESSL requirements do not preempt local laws from providing paid sick and safe leave requirements so long as they are equal to or more generous than the state law. If a city and state law conflict, then the employer must provide the more generous benefits.

If an employer already has an existing paid sick and safe time policy under a paid time off policy that is equal to or more generous than Minnesota law, the employer does not need to provide additional time off.

Note: an employer's current policy must satisfy all the requirements of this law.

For more information on Minnesota's wage and payroll tax laws, check out our Minnesota Wage and Payroll Tax Facts page.

Next Steps

Paylocity will have the accrual requirements set up with our system prior to January 1, 2024. Please work with your account manager if you have questions regarding system setup with these requirements.

Thank you for choosing Paylocity as your Payroll Tax and HCM partner. This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.


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