Employers Outside of Minneapolis May be Required to Provide Minneapolis Sick & Safe Time Leave to Their Employees

Lida Bannink | Employment Law


The Minnesota Court of Appeals held yesterday that Minneapolis’ Sick & Safe Time Law applies to employers that do not have a physical location in the City of Minneapolis, but whose employees work in the City for more than 80 hours per year.

The Minneapolis’ Sick & Safe Time ordinance provides that all employees who work more than 80 hours within the City of Minneapolis receive “one (1) hour of sick and safe time for every thirty (30) hours worked up to a maximum of forty-eight (48) hours in a… year.” The leave must be paid unless the employer has five or fewer employees. It is without question that this ordinance applies to employers with a physical location in Minneapolis. The question that the Court of Appeals grappled with is whether it applies to employers with no physical location in Minneapolis but who have workers that complete work-duties within the city.

The court, relying heavily on 1896 decision, State v. Nelson, concluded that because the sick and safe time hours are only accrued while the employee is working in Minneapolis and are only allowed to be used when scheduled to work within the City, the ordinance can be enforced against employers without a physical location in Minneapolis.

The bottom line is that if you have employees who work more than 80 hours within Minneapolis, you must provide them Sick and Safe Time Leave as outlined in the ordinance. If you have any employees that telecommute from their home located in Minneapolis or that regularly complete job-related duties in Minneapolis, it is imperative that you review your employee handbook regarding sick and safe time leave. There are also collateral consequences of this decision such as notice requirements. A failure to provide these benefits could result in serious financial consequences for your company.

This ruling is contrary to what St. Paul’s Sick and Safe Time ordinance provides, which defines a covered employer as one who has a “physical location” within St. Paul.


If you have any questions about the content of this article or are looking for assistance ensuring that you are compliant with the complicated-web of federal, state, and local leave regulations, please contact Labor & Employment attorney Lida Bannink at 651-351-2116, or email at lbannink@eckberglammers.com.

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