The Minnesota Legislature recently passed two new sets of employment-related laws that will add to the list of required information an employer must provide to its employees. These new laws specifically affect notices to new employees and pay stub reporting.
Notices to New Employees
At the start of employment, an employer must now provide each employee a written notice containing the following information (these are all new requirements):
“(1) the rate or rates of pay and basis thereof, including whether the employee is paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or other method, and the specific application of any additional rates;
(2) allowances, if any, claimed pursuant to permitted meals and lodging;
(4) the employee’s employment status and whether the employee is exempt from minimum wage, overtime, and other provisions of chapter 177, and on what basis;
(5) a list of deductions that may be made from the employee’s pay;
(6) the number of days in the pay period, the regularly scheduled pay day, and the pay day on which the employee will receive the first payment of wages earned;
(7) the legal name of the employer and the operating name of the employer if different from the legal name;
(8) the physical address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business, and a mailing address if different; and
(9) the telephone number of the employer.”
Furthermore, the employer must keep a copy of this notice, which must be signed by each employee. The notice must be provided to the employees in English and must include text (provided by the Department of Labor and Industry) informing employees that they may request the notice be provided in a specific language; employers must obey such requests. The Department will assist employers with translation of the notice in the languages requested by their employees.
Additionally, an employer must provide the employee any written changes to the information contained in the notice under paragraph (d) before the changes take effect.
Pay Stub Reporting
The Legislature also made changes to requirements related to an employee’s statement of earnings (pay stub), which are assembled by employers, who frequently outsource the task to third-parties. The changes are as follows:
- Amendment → Instead of reporting the hourly rate of pay, employers must now report any rate of pay and include whether the employee is paid by “hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or other method.”
- New → Employer must report allowances, if any, claimed by an employee pursuant to permitted meals and lodging.
- New → Employer must report its telephone number.
Special Requirements for Minneapolis & St. Paul
If your business is located in Minneapolis or St. Paul, you have even more reporting requirements. In 2017, employee safe and sick time (ESST) ordinances went into effect recently. Both affect notices to employees and pay stub reporting.
The Minneapolis ordinance states as follows:
- “Upon request by an employee, the employer must provide, in writing or electronically, information stating the employee’s then-current amount of:(1) Accrued sick and safe time available to the employee; and (2) Used sick and safe time.
Employers may choose a reasonable system for providing this notification, including, but not limited to, listing information on each pay stub or developing an online system where employees can access their own information.”
Even though an employer is free to choose any reasonable method of reporting, integrating the safe and sick time information into the pay stub seems to be the best practice; it eliminates unnecessary paperwork and guarantees the employee receives notice of the information.
The St. Paul ordinance provides less flexibility to employers. It reads as follows:
- “If an employee makes any request for information regarding how much ESST the employee has available or how much has been used, the employer must provide an answer within 24 hours.
- If employee wants to use ESST immediately and the need to use ESST was unforeseen, the employer must inform the employee of their ESST balance as soon as practicable.
- Upon the request of the employee, the employer must provide this information either in writing or electronic form.” The list of compliance requirements for Minnesota employers continues to grow. These new notice and reporting requirements are just the latest change.