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In late May the Minneapolis City Council passed (and the Mayor signed) a new ordinance that beginning July 1, 2017 would require certain employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to eligible employees.  The benefits are akin to what the State of California did on the same topic in 2015.  Here are some highlights:

  • Employees eligible if they work for company at least eighty (80) hours in a calendar year within the city’s boundaries

  • Covered employers are those employing six (6) or more employees

  • Eligible employees

  • Employees accrue leave at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked

  • Employees can accrue a maximum of 48 hours/year, and can carry-over up to 80 hours/year (80 hours of leave is the cap)

  • Employers may delay benefit use for the first 90 days of employment

  • May be used for employee’s or an immediate family member’s sick or safety needs (these terms are defined in the ordinance)

  • Employers may require reasonable documentation if the employee has been sick three (3) or more days

  • Does not need to be paid out upon termination of employment

I appreciate that Minneapolis’ action on providing paid sick time off to employees impacts few companies that receive the HR Tip of the Week.  This action, however, is only the most recent part of a trend that is spreading across the country, which I have spoken often on webinars and through these HR Tips of the Week that potentially will affect all employers (someday).  Saint Paul will very likely be next, for example; depending on the election results in November the State of Minnesota would likely be a candidate to join California, Rhode Island and New Jersey as states that have paid family medical leave laws.  In addition to California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Oregon which have paid sick leave laws, akin to Minneapolis’ new ordinance.

The movement toward providing paid sick time off shows no sign of abating and if the Congress shifts in this election cycle I would be surprised if it is not a key agenda item at the federal level in 2017.  The agenda is already in place as the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL) has been traversing the country trying to drum up support for municipal (like Minneapolis), state and federal laws that mandate employers provide paid time off to employees.  He can only do so much without Congressional support and the mounting victories at the municipal and state level for paid time off advocates seems to invigorate the debate in their favor.

Thompson Coe and myHRgenius Tip of the Week is not intended as a solicitation, does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


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Kevin M. Mosher

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