Minnesota DOLI Updates FAQs and Wage Theft Notice Example

Employers are now required to comply with the civil provisions of Minnesota’s new Wage Theft Statute, which went into effect last week on July 1. This week, the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (DOLI) updated its Wage Theft Q&A, which has grown to 45 questions, and its Employee Wage Notice example. We’ve summarized the highlights of these updates below.

Changes to DOLI-Required Language on Wage Notices

  • The DOLI has eliminated the problematic reference to an “employment agreement” from its required language regarding translation. The new statement that employers must include on their wage notices instead reads: “This document contains important information about your employment. Check the box at left to receive this information in this language.” This welcome revision addresses our previous concern that the DOLI’s reference to an “employment agreement” would improperly bind employers to something other than an at-will relationship with their employees. Employers should update their existing wage notices to remove references to an “employment agreement” and, if desired, the prefatory statements regarding at-will employment that we previously recommended.

DOLI-Provided Translations

  • The DOLI’s required language regarding translation has now been translated into 12 languages. These translations are provided on the DOLI’s Employee Wage Notice example. Employers should incorporate these translations into their existing wage notices.
  • The DOLI has translated its Employee Wage Notice example into 12 languages. The translated wage notices are available here. Employers may use these translated wage notices or develop their own. Employers who need to translate their customized wage notices should use one of the DOLI’s approved translation services (listed on the second page of the Employee Wage Notice example) or a reputable equivalent.

Timeframe for Providing Wage Notices

  • Employers must provide wage notices to employees at the “start” of employment, meaning no later than the date the employee begins performing services for the employer. Thus, providing the wage notice on an employee’s start date is sufficient, though employers may provide the notice earlier than that date.
  • If an employee requests a translated wage notice, employers should provide one as close as possible to the start of employment. The Wage Theft Statute does not mandate a specific timeframe for providing a translated notice to an employee. The DOLI has translated its Employee Wage Notice example into 12 languages and has also provided a list of approved translation services, which is available on the second page of the DOLI’s sample notice. Employers who elect not to use the DOLI’s translated wage notices should use one of the DOLI’s approved translation services, or a reputable equivalent, to ensure compliance with the Wage Theft Statute.

Wage Notice Format and Content

  • On the wage notice, employers may provide links to relevant policies instead of printing the entire policy or a summary of the policy on the notice. However, as we have advised previously, the linked information must be translated in full if an employee requests a translated notice. Employers, therefore, may wish to create a short summary of the policy and include that in the wage notice instead.
  • Employers do not need to list the amount of each deduction that may be taken from employees’ pay. Employers do not need to include the amount of each deduction on the wage notice. Only a list of possible deductions (e.g., taxes, health insurance, etc.) is required.

Enforcement

  • Employers may face DOLI enforcement actions, civil penalties, and/or employee lawsuits if they fail to provide an updated wage notice to employees before any changes take effect. The DOLI may take any action listed in Minn. Stat. § 177.27 to bring employers into compliance with this or any other provision of the new Wage Theft Statute, including issuing a Commissioner Order to Comply, filing a civil action, or imposing civil penalties. Employees may also bring their own civil actions against employers for violation of the Wage Theft Statute.