Sick and Safe Ordinance – Minneapolis & St. Paul Area

Sep 4, 2019Business, Business Consulting

How it will affect employers and employees in the Minneapolis & St Paul area

For business owners, it can be a struggle to keep up with all of the nuances that go with owning and operating a business. From payroll compliance to sales tax, it is important to keep up with business trends and industry updates. For business owners across the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area, the sick and safe time changes have been a topic of discussion. Below is a summary of the sick and safe time updates that were effective July 1, 2017.


For hourly or part-time employees, it may be a major burden to cover expenses such as health care out-of-pocket. Generally, employees who fall under this circumstance, are not eligible for paid time off (PTO). In Minneapolis and St. Paul’s efforts to promote a healthy and productive community, the two cities coincided to enact the sick and safe time ordinance. 

Definition – Sick and safe time includes illness or injury, medical treatment or preventative care, domestic or sexual assault, and care of a family member.​

The policy was placed into effect July 1, 2017 for businesses meeting the requirements.

Who is Affected?

If an employer has five or less employees in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, they are required to provide sick and safe time to employees. The business must be physically located in the metropolitan area. For businesses who fall under the five employee threshold, the sick and safe time can be unpaid.

For employers who have six or more employees in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, the same rules apply except for the sick and safe time must be paid.

An employee, under these guidelines, is any person who receives a W-2 and works at least 80 hours during the year.


If the above requirements are met, an employer must accrue sick and safe leave on an hourly basis for each employee. Accrual must begin at the start date of the employee. For every 30 hours worked, an employee will receive one hour (paid or unpaid) of sick and safe leave. An employee can accrue up to 48 hours per calendar year. Any unused sick and safe leave at calendar year end, may be carried over up to 80 hours (unless an employer allows more).  

The Exception

Sick and safe time was enacted to benefit part-time or hourly employees. An employer who already has a vacation, sick or PTO policy in place for full-time or salaried employees is not affected by this law.

Note: If an employer has both part-time and full-time employees, the policies may need to be adjusted to comply.

Independent contractors are not subject to sick and safe leave. To check if an individual is considered an employee or an independent contractor, click here for more information or consult a tax professional.

More Information

To learn if your business operates in the city jurisdictions for sick and safe time, please visit the below webpages:

For any confusion or questions surrounding sick and safe time requirements for employers, please contact the Smith Schafer team. We offer full-service payroll services to assist our clients. We provide customized solutions for businesses all across the greater Minneapolis and St. Paul area.


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