On Monday, July 1, 2019, the civil provisions of Minnesota’s new “wage theft” statute will go into effect. This law requires employers to provide new information to employees about their wages and to keep new records about personnel policies and wages. The four key action items for employers to implement effective July 1, 2019, are:
1. New Notice to Be Provided to New Hires during Onboarding.
Employers must provide individualized written notice of wages, hours, and benefits to new employees who begin work on or after July 1. The notice must include whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt, when they will be paid, their rate of pay, their eligibility for paid vacation or sick time, their paycheck deductions, and the employer’s contact information. The notice must also state that it is available, upon request, in other languages. New employees must sign the notice acknowledging receipt when they begin work, and employers must keep a copy of the signed form. The employer must provide an updated form to the employee before any change to a term on the form (such as a pay raise) takes effect.
2. New Information on Earning Statements.
Employers must also include the following information in employee wage statements: the employee’s rate of pay, allowances claimed for permitted meals and lodging, the employer’s telephone number, and the employer’s physical and mailing addresses for its main office or principal place of business.
3. New Rules for Recordkeeping and Tracking of Delivery of Policies.
Employers must now document when their personnel policies were delivered to employees. The document must contain a “brief description” of the policy and when it was delivered to the employee.
There is also a new recordkeeping requirement for piece rate workers. Minnesota law already requires employers to track each employee’s hours worked for each day and workweek. The new law goes one step further and requires employers to track the number of pieces completed at each piece rate for employees who are paid by piece rate.
4. Timing of Payment of Wages and Commission.
Although most companies already pay employees every two weeks, the new law also requires that employers pay wages (including gratuities) to employees at least once every 31 days. Employers must pay earned commissions to employees at least once every three months.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and the Minnesota Attorney General will enforce these new rules through investigations, fines, and penalties. Beginning August 1, 2019, criminal sanctions also may be pursued by prosecutors for committing “wage theft” with intent to defraud an employee. Sanctions can be severe, including imprisonment and monetary fines. Municipalities, including Minneapolis, are considering implementing similar laws.
Best & Flanagan’s Labor & Employment team stands ready to assist employers in implementing these wide-ranging new requirements. Please call any one of us for further information and advice.