Without written contracts, single-person independent contractors are especially vulnerable to exploitation. Effective Jan. 1, 2021, certain contracts with them in Minneapolis must be in writing. See Freelance FAQ's for details. (In contrast, employee wage theft protections are detailed below.)
The City has adopted part of the state's new Wage Theft law into local ordinance, providing another avenue to employees for recovery of unpaid wages. The ordinance took effect on January 1st, 2020.
The City’s wage theft prevention ordinance additionally requires employers in Minneapolis to provide sick and safe time accrual and use balances on all earnings statements, and distribute a Minneapolis labor poster to all new hires.
All employees must be provided with a written prehire notice as of January 1, 2020 or at the start of their employment thereafter. Employers must keep a signed copy on file. The notice contains information about certain terms of employment and may be requested by employees in a preferred language.
Employers may use the example prehire notice (below) or create their own. This example prehire notice may be used to comply with the city wage theft prevention ordinance including provisions adopted from state law.
In addition, employers must distribute the Minneapolis labor poster (below), in electronic or printed form, to all employees on or before their start dates. This same Minneapolis labor poster must also be on display for employees.
*Please note that the following is only summary information.
What is wage theft?
Wage Theft is a failure to fully and timely pay an employee all wages earned.
Examples may include:
HOW is WAGE THEFT prevented?
Under existing state law also adopted by the City, employers must provide employees with written pre-hire notices that establish the employee’s rate of pay and regularly scheduled payday. Employers must provide earnings statements (e.g. pay stubs) at the end of each pay period.
WHAT HAPPENS IN CASE OF A DISPUTE?
Effective January 1, 2020, employees who believe they have not been paid timely and fully for wages earned within the city should bring this issue to their employer and/or file a complaint with the City of Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. Alternatively, the state of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry may be able to assist.
WHAT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED IN A PREHIRE NOTICE?
The prehire notice may provide this information by explicit reference to a section of an employee handbook, collective bargaining agreement, or similar document.
Employees must sign the pre-hire notice to acknowledge its receipt. Electronic signatures are acceptable. Thereafter, changes (to the information contained in the pre-hire notice) require additional written notice to the employee prior to the date the changes take effect.
Employers must keep a copy of the signed notice, or record of electronic signature, for as long as the employee is employed plus three years.
ARE EMPLOYERS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE CURRENT EMPLOYEES WITH THE PRE-HIRE NOTICE?
Yes, current employees are covered by the ordinance as of its effective date of January 1, 2020. Any current employee, as of January 1, 2020, who did not previously receive all the required information (including notice of the employer's sick leave, paid time off, or other time off policy which meets sick and safe time ordinance requirements) must be provided with a pre-hire notice no later than during the first full pay period of 2020.
MUST THE WRITTEN PRE-HIRE NOTICE, INCLUDING UPDATES, AND EARNING STATEMENTS BE PROVIDED IN PAPER FORM?
Employers may provide notices electronically (and signatures may be collected electronically) if employees have access and time during work hours to review and print the notices. If the employee requests that notices be provided in paper form, the employer must comply with that request.
WHAT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED ON AN EARNINGS STATEMENT?
MUST SICK AND SAFE TIME (OR OTHER QUALIFYING LEAVE) BE INCLUDED ON EVERY EARNINGS STATEMENT?
Yes, the amount of sick and safe time accrued and unused by the employee must be included effective January 1, 2020, for covered employees in Minneapolis.
DOES THE ORDINANCE APPLY TO AN EMPLOYER WHO ISN’T LOCATED IN MINNEAPOLIS BUT HAS AN EMPLOYEE PERFORMING WORK IN MINNEAPOLIS?
Employees who work at least 80 hours in a year within the geographical boundaries of Minneapolis are covered, regardless of the location of the employer. Covered employees working only occasionally in the city may file complaints with the Department of Civil Rights regarding allegedly earned but unpaid wages for hours worked within the City.
However, an individual who attends a convention, conference, training, educational class, or similar in the City, but performs no other work in the City for an Employer, is not covered by the Ordinance.
I WANT TO REPORT A VIOLATION, BUT I’M AFRAID OF RETALIATION. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Retaliation against an employee for exercising or attempting to exercise any rights available under the Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance is strictly prohibited. Examples of exercising protected rights include: inquiring, disclosing, reporting, or testifying about any reasonably suspected violation of the ordinance. Where necessary, aggressive enforcement to protect employees’ rights will be pursued by the City.
It is rebuttably presumed that retaliation has occurred if an employer within ninety (90) days of the employee’s exercise of rights under the Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance materially changes the terms or conditions of the employee’s employment, including terminating, constructively discharging, or reducing the employee’s wages or benefits, or making other changes in the employment that affect the employee's future career prospects. The employer may rebut this presumption by presenting clear and convincing evidence that the action was taken for a non-retaliatory purpose.
Where can i ask more questions?
Labor Standards Enforcement Division staff in the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights are happy to provide technical clarification or answer questions from employers or workers. Contact (612) 673-3000 (311) or (612) 673-2157 (TTY) or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The Minnesota Department of Labor can also be contacted at 651-284-5070 or email@example.com .
Where can I report a violation?