City of Minneapolis Releases FAQs and Rules for Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance
As we previously reported, the Minneapolis Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2020, requiring employers to provide wage notices and comply with various recordkeeping requirements for employees who work at least 80 hours per year in the City of Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights has now issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide guidance on the Ordinance, along with proposed administrative Rules to implement the Ordinance’s enforcement provisions.
Below, we’ve highlighted the FAQs and Rules that differ from the guidance provided on the state wage theft statute.
- Travel time, conferences, and training in Minneapolis are not considered hours worked for purposes of the 80-hour threshold. Travel time will only be counted if the employee makes stops in Minneapolis for work purposes. Attending a convention, conference, training, educational class, or similar event in Minneapolis is not considered hours worked.
- Employers are not required to track the number of hours employees work in Minneapolis and instead may make a reasonable estimate to determine whether the Ordinance applies. However, we recommend employers track employees’ time if they suspect an employee may meet the Ordinance’s hours threshold despite only occasional work-related visits to the city. The Department will expect employers to present evidence of an employee’s time worked in Minneapolis, if the employee alleges he or she is covered by the Ordinance.
- Employers should issue a wage notice when it is “reasonably foreseeable” that the employee will work 80 hours per year in Minneapolis. Thus, employees who work only in Minneapolis should receive their wage notices on or before their start date. Employees who transfer to Minneapolis from a different work location should receive a wage notice when it becomes clear they will work at least 80 hours per year in Minneapolis. In practice, this may result in transferred employees receiving wage notices after, rather than before, beginning work in Minneapolis.
- Employers must provide wage notices to current employees no later than during the first full pay period of 2020, if these employees have not previously received the information that must be included on the wage notice.
- The employee’s exact start date must be included on the wage notice unless the employer cannot determine the date in advance “despite reasonable diligence.” In that case, a good faith estimate or other explanation regarding the start date is acceptable.
- Earnings statements must include information about the employee’s sick and safe time hours or other PTO that complies with the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. Employers may satisfy this informational requirement by providing at least two of the following amounts on the earnings statement: the total hours accrued by or frontloaded to the employee, the total hours the employee has used, and/or the current balance of the employee’s accrued and unused hours.
- Employers must keep earnings statements for three years after the date the statement was provided to employee.
- The Ordinance, like the state wage theft statute, requires employers to keep a list of personnel policies provided to the employee, along with the date the policies were given to the employee and a description of the policies. The Department defines “personnel policies” as those “that regulate work or conduct and that could be used by the employer to support disciplinary action.” If the title of the policy is self-explanatory (e.g., “Time and Attendance Policy,” “Policy Regulating Tardiness,” or “Anti-Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy”), the description requirement is met. Otherwise, a one-sentence description is sufficient.
- Employers must keep a signed copy of the initial wage notice, copies of signed change notices, and the list of personnel policies provided to the employee for as long as the employee is employed, plus three years.
- Minneapolis will have a required notice poster explaining employees’ rights under the Ordinance, which will be available for download in multiple languages on the city’s website. The poster must be placed in a location visible and accessible to employees, and a copy of the poster must be provided to the employee, electronically or in print, no later than the employee’s start date.