Sick and Safe Time Employer Resources
Sick and Safe Time FAQs
The frequently asked questions document, available in the Download Center (to the right), provides information on implementation and enforcement. It communicates how the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights may guide its personnel in interpreting the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. It will be revised, if necessary, following a public comment period ending April 15, 2017.
Please submit any comments, questions, or concerns by email to email@example.com. If you submit a comment or suggestion proposing specific revision of the frequently asked questions document, please add “FAQ’s” in the subject line of your email.
Do you have employees that work within Minneapolis City Limits? Does your current paid time off plan meet the requirements of the City of Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance? To learn more view or print the Employer Checklist in the Download Center (to the right).
Required Notice Poster
The Sick and Safe Time Ordinance required notice poster must be displayed where employees can easily read it in any/all languages needed by 5% or more of employees. Download the poster in the Download Center (to the right).
FAQs for Employers
The selection of frequently asked questions (below) address many practical concerns. To view the answer to the question, click the "+" symbol and a drop down will appear.
What does “accrual” mean?
Accrual describes how something increases. As time passes and an employee works more and accrues more sick and safe time hours.
When does an employee begin to accrue sick and safe time?
After the ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2017, an employee begins to accrue sick and safe time hours whenever she starts working. Although an employee accrues sick and safe time beginning on the first day of work, an employer may record those sick and safe time hours per pay period and prohibit the employee from using sick and safe time during an initial 90 calendar days of employment.
At what rate does an employee accrues sick and
The minimum rate at which an employee accrues sick and safe time is one hour for every 30 hours worked.
Julian has worked 120 hours. How many sick and safe time hours has he accrued? Julian has accrued four sick and safe time hours. After 150 hours worked, he will accrue a fifth sick and safe time hour.
How frequently must an employer calculate and
record sick and safe time hours?
Employers may calculate and record sick and safe time hours at the same frequency as the employer’s other typical payroll practices (e.g. per pay period, weekly, bi-weekly, twice-per-month etc.), as long as it is recorded at least once per month.
Do employees accrue sick and safe time in hour-unit increments?
Yes. Sick and safe time accrues in increments of whole hours, not fractions of an hour. Upon completion of every 30 hours worked, an employee accrues at least one additional hour of sick and safe time. Employers may exceed this minimum standard by recording time in fractions of an hour if they choose.
Employee Aamina has worked 80 hours. How many hours of sick and safe time has she accrued? She has accrued at least two sick and safe time hours. Her employer may choose to record additional time in fractions of an hour. If Aamina continues, at the end of 1440 hours worked in Minneapolis, she has accrued at least 48 (1440/30) hours of sick and safe time, recorded at least monthly.
Must an employer allow accrual when an employee
is on vacation or out sick?
No. Sick and safe time does not accrue when an employee is not working.
How does an employee who is paid based on productivity accrue sick and safe time hours?
When an employee is compensated based on her productivity, his/her accrual of sick leave is measured by the actual length of time spent performing work.
How does an exempt employee accrue sick and
safe time hours?
Exempt employees are presumed to work 40 hours per week for the purposes of sick and safe time accrual. In instances where there is clear evidence that an exempt employee’s regular work week is less than 40 hours, sick and safe time accrues based upon that actual regular work week.
Do sick and safe time hours accrue on overtime
For an employee who is not exempt from earning overtime compensation under federal and Minnesota wage-hour law, sick and safe time hours accrue on all hours worked, including overtime hours worked.
Carryover and Accrual Caps
Does an employee lose accrued and unused sick and safe time hours at the end of the benefit year?
No. Accrued and unused hours of sick and safe time do not automatically expire at the end of the benefit year (unless an employer chooses to front-load sick and safe time hours). An employee’s accrued and unused sick and safe time hours is the employee’s “bank”.
Do unused sick and safe time hours “carry-over” from
year to year?
Yes, employers must “carry-over” each employee’s accrued and unused sick and safe time hours to the following benefit year (unless an employer chooses to front-load sick and safe time hours).
Employee Anthony banked 30 sick and safe time hours by the end of the first benefit year of his employment. His employer must carry-over these 30 hours into the following benefit year. Employee Anthony may then accrue additional hours
What does “benefit year” mean?
“Benefit year” or “year” means any consecutive 12-month period of time as determined by an employer. Most employers will find it helpful to use one of the following:
Whichever method an employer chooses to measure the benefit year, once established it must be communicated to employees and applied similarly for all employees. A consistent measuring period from year to year and from employee to employee is required.
Is there a “cap” on how many sick and safe time hours an employee can accrue?
Yes. Employers may set a “cap” or “limit” on each employee’s accrual. Employers must allow each employee to accrue at least 48 hours per year, carried over from year to year, until an 80 hour maximum accrual cap is reached. These limits of 48 hours per benefit year and a maximum accrual cap of 80 hours per employee may be higher if an employer chooses, but not lower.
Lyndale Consultants Inc. limits its employees’ accrual of sick and safe time at the minimum standard of 80 hours. Anthony accrued 30 sick and safe time hours by the end of the first benefit year of his employment. These 30 hours carried over into the second benefit year, during which he accrued an additional 48 hours.
What happens during the third benefit year? Anthony accrues an additional two sick and safe time hours (30 hours + 48 hours + 2 hours) before stopping at a limit of 80 hours.
Once an employee reaches his benefit year cap or
maximum accrual cap of sick and safe time hours
(if an employer has set one), does he receive credit for additional hours worked?
No. Once an employee hits an employer’s yearly cap of 48 hours, he no longer accrues sick and safe time hours for that benefit year. Once an employee reaches 80 hours through carry-over and accrual, he no longer accrues additional hours (even if the yearly cap is not triggered) until they use some of the hours they have "in the accrue.” These limits of 48 hours per benefit year and a maximum accrual cap of 80 hours may be higher if an employer chooses, but not lower.
Employee Anthony reached his overall accrual cap of 80 hours. Later, Anthony uses eight hours, reducing his accrual to 72 (80 – 8). Upon his return to work, he begins accruing again. Following an additional 240 hours worked (240/30 = 8), he replenished his accrual of 80 hours (72 +8).
Does the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance require employers to provide 48 hours of sick and safe time to every employee, every year?
Not necessarily. An employee accrues the equivalent of at least one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked. The minimum required number of hours of sick and safe time that an employee accrues depends upon how many hours she works and whether she has reached employer-set limits of 48 hours per benefit year or 80 hours overall, including accrual and carryover.
front-loading of hours
For employers who choose this option, how many hours must be “front-loaded”?
In an employee’s first year of employment, an employer who chooses this option must front-load that employee at least 48 hours. Automatically at the beginning of each subsequent benefit year, the employer must front-load the employee at least 80 hours. This amount of front-loading on a yearly basis fulfills the accrual and carryover requirements.
Mumtaz is a business owner. She employs Sara and front-loads Sara’s Sick and Safe Time hours once per year. At the beginning of Sara’s first benefit year of employment, Mumtaz front-loaded 48 hours into Sara’s accrual. At the beginning of Sara’s second benefit year and every year thereafter, Mumtaz front-loaded 80 hours into Sara’s accrual. Has Mumtaz complied with the accrual and carryover requirements of the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance? Yes. Must she provide additional hours? No.
May employers credit sick and safe time hours for employees on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis etc. ahead of hours worked?
Yes, nothing in the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance prevents employers from allowing employees to access sick and safe time hours in advance of hours worked. Employers may calculate and credit accrual ahead of hours worked. However, employers must also ensure that a sufficient number of hours are given. Failure to credit enough hours in advance (at least one hour per 30 hours worked, up to yearly and overall caps of at least 48 and 80 hours) must be remedied within one month.
Full-time (80 hour per week) employee Aamina has completed 1440 hours worked in Minneapolis. Aamina has thus accrued at least 48 (1440/30) hours of sick and safe time, recorded at least monthly. May Aamina’s employer have awarded sick and safe time in whole hour increments in advance of hours worked? Yes. Aamina’s employer may have chosen to record six hours per month for eight months or three hours bi-weekly (or twice-per-month) for eight months until reaching a yearly limit of 48 hours.
use of sick and safe time
Is there a period of time allowed at the beginning of employment when an employee may not use sick and safe time?
Yes, although an employee begins to accrue sick and safe time immediately, an employer may enforce a 90 day period before allowing an employee to use any accrued sick and safe time hours. Following the first 90 calendar days of employment, an employee must be allowed to access sick and safe time as it is recorded. These 90 calendar days of employment may be completed prior to July 1, 2017.
Employee Alicia’s first day of work was Aug. 10. At that time, all of her hours worked must count for the purposes of sick and safe time accrual (i.e. her bank begins to grow immediately). When could she begin to use this sick and safe time? Her employer may require her to wait 90 days, until Nov. 8.
As of July 1, 2017, employee Anthony has been employed by the same employer for several years. Must Anthony wait 90 days to use sick and safe time? No, as of July 1, 2017, Anthony has already completed 90 calendar days of employment.
What may an employee use sick and safe time for?
An employee may use her accrued sick and safe time hours to care for her own health or the health of a family member or member of household, or to address issues caused by domestic violence, sexual harassment, or stalking.
Entire Sick and Safe Time FAQs
If you would like to read the complete Sick and Safe Time FAQs, please download the file in the Download Center to the right.