Legislation includes bonus payments to eligible COVID-19 frontline workers
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is currently developing an online application system for eligible workers to apply for a bonus payment. There will be a 45-day application period and a 15-day appeal period for denied applications. The final list of eligible applicants will be processed together, and approved applicants will receive an equal share of the bonus (not to exceed $1,500). The eligibility criteria include specific work and income requirements and apply to certain job sectors.
To be eligible for Frontline Worker Pay, the applicant:
- Must have been employed at least 120 hours in Minnesota in one or more frontline sectors between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021
- For the hours worked during this time period the applicant –
- Was not able to telework due to the nature of the individual’s work and
- Worked in close proximity to people outside of the individual’s household
- Must meet the income requirements for at least one of the 2020 or 2021 tax years –
- Workers with direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities must have had an adjusted gross income of less than $350,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or less than $175,000 for other filers and
- For workers in occupations without direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities, the adjusted gross income limit is $185,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or $85,000 for other filers; and
- Must not have received an unemployment insurance benefit payment for more than 20 weeks on a cumulative basis for weeks between March 15, 2020, and June 26, 2021.
Specific Job SectorS
- Building services, including maintenance, janitorial, and security
- Courts and corrections
- Emergency responders
- Foodservice, including production, processing, preparation, sale, and delivery
- Ground and air transportation services
- Health care
- Long-term care and home care
- Public health, social service, and regulatory service
- Public transit
- Retail, including sales, fulfillment, distribution, and delivery
- Schools, including charter schools, state schools, and higher education
- Temporary shelters and hotels
- Vocational rehabilitation
Employer Notification Requirements
Once the State of Minnesota has opened the application period and applications go live, all frontline sector employers in the State are required to provide notification to their employees within 15 days. Frontline sector employers are businesses in the fields described in the Job Sector eligibility requirement list. A notice should be posted where all employees can see it. The notice should also be provided by paper or electronic means like other employer notifications.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry created a webpage where employers can sign up to be notified when the application process goes live. Further information regarding MN Frontline Worker Pay and alert notifications from the state is available at https://frontlinepay.mn.gov.
If you have questions about the changes, Smith Schafer can help!