Coordinating Compliance with Minnesota State and Local Paid Sick Leave Laws

By Jana Bjorklund, GovDocs Senior Counsel and
Director, Employment Law and Compliance
Published Feb. 20, 2024

New Minnesota Paid Leave Requirements 2024 GovDocs

Minnesota employers in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Bloomington should make sure they are following the most generous paid leave provisions available to employees at the state and local levels.

On Jan. 1, 2024, Minnesota’s statewide earned sick and safe time (MN ESST) went into effect. Local paid sick leave ordinances were not preempted by MN ESST, so employers need to follow the most generous provisions for employees under MN ESST and any local ordinance. Minnesota had four cities prior to Jan. 1, 2024 with local paid sick leave ordinances. However, Duluth repealed its local paid sick leave law effective Jan. 1, 2024. As a result, employers need to coordinate with the remaining three local laws – Bloomington, Minneapolis, and St. Paul. And even though Bloomington and St. Paul amended their earned sick and safe time ordinances at the end of 2023 to align with the state law, a few differences remain.

The following are some areas where MN ESST and the local ordinances still differ:

Covered Employee

Bloomington’s earned sick and safe time still contains language that a covered employee is one who works at least 80 hours per year within the geographic boundaries of the city of Bloomington. However, MN ESST applies to any employee who works 80 hours per year within the state.

Covered Family Member

MN ESST includes registered domestic partners as eligible covered family members for which employees may take paid sick leave. Bloomington’s ordinance does not include registered domestic partners in its list of covered family members. As a result, Bloomington employers should ensure that their employees are allowed to take paid sick leave to care for a registered domestic partner for an eligible reason.

Eligible Reasons for Leave

The following two eligible reasons for sick leave are included in MN ESST:

  • An employee’s inability to work or telework because the employee is prohibited from working by the employer due to a health concern related to the potential transmission of a communicable illness related to a public health emergency or is seeking or awaiting the results of a medical diagnosis or test due to exposure to a communicable disease related to a public health emergency.
  • An employee’s inability to work when determined by a health authority or health care professional that the employee or family member is at risk of infecting others with a communicable disease.

Neither Bloomington’s earned sick and safe time ordinance nor Minneapolis’ earned sick and safe time ordinance have this provision in their laws. Thus, Bloomington and Minneapolis employers should make sure their earned sick and safe time policies allow for these reasons for taking paid sick leave.


Perhaps the most important difference between MN ESST and local ordinances occurs in the provision regarding frontloading leave for employees. Employers have two options, determined by whether the employer pays the employee for any accrued but unused earned sick and safe time at the end of the year.

The first option allows employers to frontload 48 hours of earned sick and safe time in the first year of employment, but they must pay the employee, in cash, the value of any unused hours at the end of the year.

The second option allows employers to frontload 80 hours of earned sick and safe time at the beginning of the year with no payout at the end of the year for any accrued but unused hours.

Bloomington amended its ordinance to align with MN ESST requirements in this area, and St. Paul’s Rules for Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, which were finalized Jan. 11, 2024, also align with these requirements.

Minneapolis’ earned sick and safe time ordinance, however, does not have the same provision for frontloading. Under the Minneapolis ordinance, employers may frontload earned sick and safe time for their employees and avoid accrual tracking by providing 48 hours of sick and safe time the first year and 80 hours of sick and safe time in each subsequent year. There is no mention of payout of accrued but unused time at the end of the first year under the Minneapolis ordinance.

Notice And Posting Requirements

MN ESST requires that employers provide employees with notice of their entitlement to earned sick and safe time. Employers may comply with the notice requirement by posting a copy of the notice at each location where employees perform work, delivering a paper or electronic copy to employees, or posting the notice in a web-based platform through which an employee performs work. Under MN ESST, the notice and/or posting requirement need only be in English.

However, under the Bloomington earned sick and safe time ordinance, the notice and poster must be provided in English and all languages spoken by more than 5% of the workforce in the city.

Under the Minneapolis earned sick and safe time ordinance, employers must post the notice in English and any language spoken by at least 5% of the employees at the workplace or job site if published by the Minneapolis

The St. Paul earned sick and safe time ordinance requires the notice and posting requirement to be in English and the primary language of the employee as identified by the employee. The St. Paul Department has available a standard Workplace Notice Poster for Employers in 5 different languages.


Minnesota employers with employees working in the cities of Bloomington, Minneapolis, and/or St. Paul should make sure their paid leave policies align appropriately with the most protective provisions for employees under the MN ESST and the applicable local ordinances.

Looking for a helping hand? GovDocs’ Paid Leave helps employers navigate increasingly complex paid leave laws at the federal, state, county, and city levels to ensure compliance.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

Employment Law Compliance Platform
Labor Law Poster Auditing Kit GovDocs 2024

Keep Informed
with GovDocs Employment Law News

Employment Law Compliance LinkedIn Group

What is GovDocs?

GovDocs simplifies employment law compliance for large, multi-jurisdiction employers in the U.S. and Canada. The GovDocs software platform integrates three solutions in one convenient place to help you master the employment laws impacting your business. Whether you manage labor law postings, minimum wage or paid leave program, our products cut through research time, provide proactive insights into the everchanging landscape of employment laws and reduce the risk of noncompliance. The company is headquartered in Eagan, Minn.

Have fewer than 30 locations? 

The GovDocs Poster Store simplifies posting compliance for employers with less than 30 locations across all industries, offering a variety of posting products to meet your labor law compliance needs.