Effective January 1, 2020, the Minneapolis Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) sets forth a stringent set of requirements to prevent and punish wage theft. In addition to the state law requirements, the Ordinance applies to all employers with employees who work in the City of Minneapolis for at least 80 hours in one year. The Ordinance requires employers to provide additional information within notices, pay stubs, and notice posters to covered employees, including all new hires and current Minneapolis employees, no later than January 1, 2020.

While employers are already required to provide notice to new employees pursuant to the state law requirements, the Ordinance requires employers to also provide all new and current Minneapolis employees a notice with the following information:

  1. The date employment began or will begin;
  2. The employee’s rights under the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Ordinance, including the date the employee began or will begin to accrue Sick and Safe Time;
  3. The employer’s policy regarding gratuities, as applicable, and that sharing of gratuities is voluntary; and
  4. The overtime policy applicable to the employee’s position, including when the overtime shall be paid and the rate(s) of pay.

The notice must be provided to and signed by all covered Minneapolis employees by January 1, 2020. Employers must retain the signed notice and records of when they provided the initial notice to each Minneapolis employee. Thereafter, any changes to the notice must be provided to each employee in writing before they take effect, which the employee must also sign.

Additionally, employers of covered Minneapolis employees must include information regarding the employee’s accrued and unused Minneapolis Sick and Safe Leave Time on each pay stub.

Employers must post a notice at all Minneapolis job sites in a conspicuous area which explains employee rights pursuant to the Ordinance in English and in any language spoken by at least five percent of the employees. If an employee does not work at a physical job site, the employer may provide a paper or electronic copy to the employee. An example of the notice poster and notice can be found here.

Pursuant to the Ordinance, an employer must pay all wages owed to any employee by reason of employment, for work performed in the City of Minneapolis, on the regularly established payday. An employee or other person may report any suspected violation of the Ordinance to the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (the “Department”). If the employer is found to have violated the Ordinance, the Department Director shall order the employer to cease and desist from engaging in the illegal practice and may order any appropriate relief, including compensatory damages, liquidated damages, and civil fines up to $2,000 per violation and failure to cooperate with the investigation.

Lastly, unlawful retaliation will be presumed if an employer materially changes the terms or conditions of the employee’s employment (which would include termination, a reduction in the employee’s wages or benefits, or other changes in employment that affect the employee’s career advancement) within ninety (90) days of the employee’s exercise of his or her rights under the Ordinance. The employer may rebut this presumption by presenting clear and convincing evidence that the action was taken for a non-retaliatory purpose.

It is imperative that employers promptly prepare now to comply with the Ordinance by January 1, 2020. For questions or assistance regarding the new requirements, please feel free to contact us.

December 11, 2019