Last year, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law the Omnibus Jobs, Economic Development, Labor and Industry Budget bill, or SF 3035. The bill is comprised of several major employment law changes for employers operating in the North Star State, including but not limited to non-compete agreement bans, additional rights for nursing mothers and lactating employees, warehouse distribution worker safety, and construction worker wage protections.
Among those employment law changes, several new labor law poster requirements also passed that employers must take action on coming into the New Year.
Veterans Benefits and Services
Effective Jan. 1, 2024, employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees must display the new Veterans Benefits and Services poster in a conspicuous area of the workplace where employees can easily view it, such as a breakroom, communal hallway, etc.
The Veterans Benefits and Services poster includes information for employees regarding the resources, programs, and services available to veterans, such as:
- Counseling for substance use disorder and mental health treatment
- Educational, workforce, and training resources
- Eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits
- MN state veteran driver’s licenses and id cards
- Legal services
- Tax benefits
In addition, the poster includes contact information for the Department of Veterans Affairs, county veteran services programs, and the Veterans Crisis Line. The contact information requirements are comparable to New York’s Veteran Benefits and Services poster, which is a similar law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
The Veterans Benefits and Services poster is now available and should be posted by employers in the workplace by Jan. 1, 2024. The GovDocs Update Program is currently shipping an updated Minnesota state poster with the new posting requirement out to impacted locations.
Minnesota’s Earned Sick and Safe Time (EEST)
Employers with one or more employees must also provide them with notice of their rights under Minnesota’s new Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) law by Jan. 1, 2024.
Notice must include the following information:
- Employees are entitled to ESST
- Amount of ESST an employee will accrue
- Accrual year of the employee
- Terms of ESST use by employees
- Copy of the written policy for how to provide notice to use ESST
- Retaliation against employees who request or use ESST is prohibited
- Employee rights to file a complaint or bring civil action if ESST is denied by the employer or retaliation occurs
Employers are also required to provide employees notice in English and the primary language of the employee at the start of employment or by Jan. 1, 2024, whichever is later. Of note, Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry translated the notice into 17 additional languages employers can request to use.
Employers have several options laid out under the law for providing notice. Employers may provide a paper or electronic copy of the notice to its employees, conspicuously post the notice in a web or app-based platform where employees perform work, or post a copy of the notice at each work location where it is easily observed and reviewed by employees. Employers should further make note that if it provides an employee handbook to employees, the handbook must include a notice of employee rights under ESST.
Minnesota released both the required notice and an optional posting for employer use. The notice must be provided to current employees by Jan. 1, 2024. However, the state has specified that while the ESST poster is information only – i.e., employers are not required to display the poster – it is highly encouraged.
Employer-Sponsored Meetings or Communications
Minnesota also jumped on the bandwagon of a recent labor law trend and, as of August 1, 2023, prohibits employers from taking or threatening to take any adverse employment action against an employee who declines to attend employer-sponsored meetings or receive employer communications concerning the religious or political opinions of the employer.
This new labor law, however, may encounter future legal challenges.
In Connecticut, several employers and organizations filed a lawsuit arguing that the law violates the First Amendment. However, this legal challenge has not deterred other states, such as New York and Maine, from passing “captive audience” requirements similar to those in Minnesota.
As of August 31, 2023, employers are required to display a notice of employee rights regarding employer-sponsored meetings or communications in the workplace. However, Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry indicated that it will not release its own labor law poster. Therefore, employers will need to ensure that they satisfy this new posting requirement, which the GovDocs Update Program shipped to impacted locations in 2023.
Tracking Poster Updates for New Minnesota Labor Laws
Along with the new labor law posters at the state level, employers should expect potential posting updates to the local paid leave posters in Bloomington, St. Paul, Minneapolis, etc., and employers should be aware of the annual posting updates for minimum wage at both the state and local levels.
Minnesota’s new labor laws and subsequent posting updates at the state and local levels illustrate the compliance posting maze employers must navigate at the start of the new year. As always, a robust labor law poster program is key to compliance success.