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Minnesota Labor and Employment Law
Minnesota Employment Law
Minnesota Minimum Wage
Minnesota minimum wage depends on the size of the employer's business. For employees of a large employer—defined as any enterprise with an annual gross volume of sales or business of not less than $625,000—the minimum wage is $6.15 an hour. For a small employer—one whose annual gross volume of sales made or business done is less than $625,000—the minimum wage is $5.25 an hour. Employers can pay a training wage of $4.90 an hour to new employees who are younger than 20 years old during their first 90 consecutive days of employment. However, employers may not displace permanent employees by new employees who are eligible for the training wage.
There is no tip credit under Minnesota law, meaning that even employees who earn tips must receive the appropriate minimum wage.
Minnesota Prevailing Wage
Minnesota's Prevailing Wage law sets the wages required for state-funded construction projects. The law requires that employees working on state-funded construction projects be paid wage-rates comparable to those paid for similar work in the area the project is located. The wage is based on the rates paid to the largest number of workers within each labor classification reported in a statewide survey. If there are an equal number of workers with different hourly wage rates, the highest rate paid is the prevailing wage.
Minnesota has a Mini-COBRA, designed to supplement the federal COBRA. Mini-COBRA is modeled after federal COBRA law, but allows employees of small businesses (fewer than 20 employees) to purchase coverage for their group health insurance for 18 months when they lose coverage, either because they leave their job or because they have their hours cut.
At Will Employment
Minnesota is an "employment at will" state. As such, at-will employees can be terminated for any reason. The only exception is for employees who are covered by a contract that governs the terms of employment. Employees who are covered by an employment contract can only be terminated for the reasons set out in the contract. In Minnesota, to overcome the presumption of at will employment the employer must unequivocally indicate in the employment contract that the employee will not be terminated except in certain circumstances.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law regarding employee wages and hours worked, including overtime hours and wages. Under the FLSA, some workers can be exempted from overtime pay. However, those workers must fit the criteria the FLSA sets out for exemption. Minnesota's laws also apply to employment subject to the FLSA. In cases where both the FLSA and state law apply, the law setting the higher standards must be observed.
More information on how the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to overtime can be found here.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal act that requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees for the following reasons: birth and care of the employee's newborn child; care for a child after adoption or foster care placement; care for the employee's spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition; or for a serious health condition that affects the employee's ability to work.
Minnesota Employees are eligible for FMLA coverage if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year, for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months (not necessarily consecutive months) and if a minimum of 50 employees are employed by the same employer within 75 miles.
Covered employers are those who employ more than 50 employees within 75 miles of the worksite and have at least 50 employees who work 20 or more work-weeks in the current calendar year or the previous calendar year. Public agencies are covered by the FMLA regardless of the number of employees.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
The Occupational Safety and Health Act is a federal law enacted to ensure that employees work in an environment that is free from recognized hazards. It is part of the United States Code, Title 29, Chapter 15.
Federal laws also protect employees from sexual harassment and discrimination, including race, age, disability and pregnancy discrimination.
Minnesota employees who feel their rights have been violated may have the opportunity to bring their complaint before the courts.
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Last updated on Jul-13-10
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