TSheets recently conducted a survey of Minnesotans and found that a surprising percentage of people were unaware of the major sick leave ordinances that will change paid time off for illness and medical needs in the Twin Cities.
76 percent of people responded that they were unaware of pending changes. But that doesn’t mean people don’t think sick leave matters. A previous survey by TSheets found that 85 percent of respondents say sick leave is important.
The laws, which will be effective July 1, 2017, will require eligible employers in Minneapolis and St. Paul to change their sick leave policies. Qualified employees will now have the potential to earn and accrue up to 80 hours paid sick leave every two years. There are a few differences in the ways in which the laws will be interpreted between the cities.
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How do the laws affect Minneapolis?
The Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance states employers with six or more employees must provide compensation for accrued sick leave, while employers with five or fewer employees must provide unpaid use of accrued sick leave. Also unique to the Minneapolis Ordinance is the way that “family” is defined. Here, guardians and wards are included as family members, along with an employee’s child, step-child, adopted child, foster child, adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, step-parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, or grandparent.
What’s happening in St. Paul?
Meanwhile, the Saint Paul Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance deems it unlawful for employers to retaliate or deny the Ordinance. Employees, therefore, have the right to sue their employers for damages, if the employer retaliates against the Ordinance for an employee’s right to sick leave. In St. Paul, employers are also required to inform employees, either electronically or in writing, of their rights and entitlements to earned sick leave, as well as each employee’s earned sick time available and earned sick time used.
How do I make sure my business is compliant?*
These changes piggyback on several nationwide sick leave laws that took effect in January 2017, and many more states are expected to vote on their own sick leave policies in the coming months.
It’s vital that you first review your sick leave policies and speak with your accountant and lawyer to ensure you are complying and that your area will be affected by the new changes. Then double-check your and attendance processes and administrative duties to make sure procedures and policies are updated to include the new Ordinances.
Always track employee hours carefully to ensure they’re accruing their sick leave at an accurate rate. TSheets’ sick leave function automatically tracks and organizes those hours for you to make payroll simple and spot-on correct.
New to time tracking? TSheets tracks employee hours, sick leave, PTO, and more!
*As always, TSheets is not offering legal or accounting advice for your business. Check with your lawyer and accountant before making policy changes at your company.