Wage theft occurs when employers do not pay their workers what is owed for the work they have performed. It’s estimated up to 40,000 Minnesota workers pursue complaints of wage theft each year. Legislation was passed in May 2019 that will invest $3.1 million in new funding over the next two years in the Department of Labor and Industry’s enforcement of the state’s wage and hour laws.
New “Wage Statement” Requirement and Additional Record keeping
The new law creates a new “wage statement” that must be provided to employees in writing at the start of employment. Employees must sign the wage statement and employers are required to keep a copy and provide a new notice if there are any changes. Also, updates include several new record keeping requirements for Minnesota employers as well as additional authority for the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to enforce compliance.
Signed Wage Statement for Each Employee
The law creates a new “wage statement” requirement which requires all employers to provide a new employee with written notice of the following “at the start of employment”:
- (1) the rate or rates of pay and basis thereof, including whether the employee is paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or other method, and the specific 63.24 application of any additional rates;
- (2) allowances, if any, claimed pursuant to permitted meals and lodging;
- (4) the employee’s employment status and whether the employee is exempt from minimum wage, overtime, and other provisions of chapter 177, and on what basis;
- (5) a list of deductions that may be made from the employee’s pay;
- (6) the number of days in the pay period, the regularly scheduled pay day, and the pay day on which the employee will receive the first payment of wages earned;
- (7) the legal name of the employer and the operating name of the employer if different from the legal name;
- (8) the physical address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business, and a mailing address if different; and
- (9) the telephone number of the employer.
This notice must be signed by the employee and kept by the employer. The law also would require an employer to provide written notice to an employee whenever anything in the original written notice changes.
Earnings Statements Must Include New Information
Information required includes the basis of pay (hourly, salary, piece rate, etc.), any allowances for meals or lodging, and the address and phone number of the employer. An earnings statement must be provided to each employee at the end of the pay period. [Minn. Stat. § 181.032.]
Employer Record Keeping
The new law requires employers to keep employment records, including:
- the name, address, and occupation of each employee;
- the rate of pay, and the amount paid each pay period to each employee;
- the hours worked each day and each workweek by the employee, including for all employees paid at piece rate, the number of pieces completed at each piece rate;
- a list of the personnel policies provided to the employee, including the date the policies were given to the employee and a brief description of the policies;
- a signed copy of the new “wage statement,” (referenced above)
All records must be available for inspection and must be kept at the place where employees are working or kept in a manner that allows the employer to fulfill any demand for inspection within 72 hours. The law also creates a new maximum fine of $5,000 for repeat violations.
Earnings Paid Every 31 Days; Commissions Paid Every 3 Months
Minnesota Statute 181.101 is amended to read that every employer must pay all wages, including salary, earnings, and gratuities earned by an employee at least once every 31 days and all commissions earned by an employee at least once every three months,
Additional Authority for DOLI to Investigate Violations
The bill amends Minnesota Statute 175.20 to allow the Commissioner of DOLI to enter the places of business of employers, during work hours, to investigate potential violations of chapters 177, 181, 181A, and 184. The investigation authority includes the ability to collect various evidence of potential violations of law and to interview witnesses.
To view a PDF of law changes that will go into effect July 1, 2019, click here