Minnesota: Duluth Becomes Third City to Enact Paid Sick and Safe Time Law


All Employers with 5 or more Duluth, MN Employees


January 1, 2020


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

Duluth recently joined St. Paul and Minneapolis in enacting a local paid sick and safe time law.  While the new paid sick leave (“PSL”) ordinance mirrors St. Paul and Minneapolis in most provisions, it also deviates from these cities in some areas–most notably in the accrual rate, cap, and carryover of PSL hours.  The ordinance, adopted on May 29, 2018, goes into effect on January 1, 2020, providing employers ample time to prepare.

Key provisions of the new PSL law include:

  • Effective Date: January 1, 2020
  • Eligibility:
    • Covered Employee: Employees who (1) work in Duluth for more than 50% of their working time within a 12-month period or (2) are based in Duluth, work primarily in Duluth, or do not spend more than 50% of their working time within a 12-month period working somewhere else.
    • Employer: All private employers of five or more employees. Note that employers need not be based in Duluth to meet coverage requirements.
    • Exemptions: Independent contractors, student interns, seasonal employees, or individuals otherwise covered by the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.
  • Usage: Employees can begin using PSL after 90 days of employment, and may use up to 40 hours of PSL per year.
  • Leave Amounts
    • Accrual Rate: One hour per 50 hours worked.
    • Cap: Employees must be allowed to accrue up to 64 hours pf PSL per year.
    • Carryover: Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of PSL each year, unless PSL is frontloaded.
    • Frontload: Employers have the option to frontload 40 PSL hours per year.  Employers may frontload PSL following an initial 90 days of employment in an employee’s first year, but must frontload at the beginning of each subsequent year.
  • Recordkeeping and Notice Requirements:
    • General Notice: Employers must notify employees that they are entitled to PSL, the amount of PSL, and the terms of use under the law. However, there is no workplace posting requirement.
    • Anti-Retaliation Notice: Employees must be informed that retaliation is prohibited, and that employees may file a written complaint of retaliation with the City clerk.
    • Recordkeeping: Employers must maintain records documenting hours worked and accrued/used leave for a period of three years.
  • Employee Notice: Employees may request PSL as needed. PSL requests should include the expected duration of the absence, if possible. Employers can request reasonable documentation that PSL was used for an applicable purpose after three consecutive days of absence.  Further, employers may require employees to follow their standard procedures for absences or leave requests so long as the procedures do not infringe on an employee’s PSL rights.

Action Items

  1. Visit the City of Duluth’s dedicated page on Earned Sick and Safe Time.
  2. Prepare for implementation of the new PSL requirements, including having employee handbooks, policies, and payroll practices updated.
  3. Have managers trained on PSL use and notice requirements.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

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.

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