St. Paul, Minnesota: Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Passed


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On September 7, 2016, St. Paul passed the Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), following in Minneapolis’s footsteps in offering paid sick leave benefits.  The Ordinance has a two-year phase in schedule determined by employer size.  The Ordinance becomes effective July 1, 2017 for employers of 24 or more employees, and January 1, 2018 for employers of 23 or fewer employees.

Key provisions of the Ordinance are:

  • Eligibility – All St. Paul employees working at least 80 hours per calendar year for a private employer. In addition, new employers may provide unpaid sick benefits in lieu of paid sick time within the first six months of hiring their first employee.
  • Accrual – 1 hour of paid sick and safe time (“PSST”) earned per 30 hours worked. Accrual can be capped at 48 hours in one calendar or fiscal year. Accrued, unused PSL carries over to the next year for a maximum accrual cap of 80 hours.
  • Frontloading – Employers may frontload employees at least 48 hours of PSST following the first 90 days of employment for use during the first year, and 80 hours each subsequent year.
  • Use – Employees can begin to use their accrued or granted PSST 90 days after employment. PSST can be used in increments consistent with the employer’s current payroll practices, up to a maximum of four hours. PSST is available for an employee’s own illness, preventative or diagnostic care; care for qualifying family members; to handle domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking affecting themselves or their family members; absence due to a closure of the place of business by order of a public official; and to care for family members whose school or place of care are unexpectedly closed by public official’s order or inclement weather.
  • Notices and Recordkeeping
    • Employers must provide a report of the currently available and used PSST upon employee request.
    • Employers must conspicuously display a poster informing employees of their rights; this requirement can be fulfilled by displaying the poster to be issued by the Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity.
    • If the employer issues an employee handbook, a notice of employee rights and remedies must be included in the handbook.
    • Records of accrual and use of sick time must be retained for at least three years.
  • Employee’s Notice – Employers may require documentation of absences lasting more than three consecutive workdays. Employers can also request that workers taking paid sick time provide up to seven days’ advance notice when the need for PSL is foreseeable.
  • Reinstatement of Benefits – If rehired within 90 days, the employee’s previously accrued, unused PSL must be reinstated. If the employee transfers divisions, entities or locations outside of the city but otherwise remains employed by the same employer, the employer must retain the employee’s PSST bank for three years, and must reinstate the employee’s PSST, if transferred back within three years.

Similar to Minneapolis’s paid sick ordinance, employers who currently provide a paid sick time or other paid time off policy that meets or exceeds the Ordinance’s requirements are not required to provide additional sick time.

Action Items

  1. The required postings have not yet been published. Look for more news from ManagEase or check the City of St. Paul website for publication at a later date.
  2. Contact ManagEase at (888) 230-3231 for assistance in reviewing paid sick leave policies and procedures for compliance, or drafting and implementation of new paid sick leave policies.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2016 ManagEase, Incorporated.

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