Duluth Paid Sick Leave – Will This Impact Your Restaurant?

We’ve seen sick leave ordinances hit bigger cities across the country for the past several years, now we are beginning to see smaller cities take on legislation of their own around mandated policies.  On January 1st, 2020 all employers with five or more employees must provide Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) to their employees working in Duluth.

What is Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST)?

City of Duluth Minnesota logoThe ESST Ordinance applies to employers with five or more employees nationwide.  Covered workers in the city of Duluth will be entitled to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 50 hours worked, up to a total of 64 hours per year (though use of sick leave may be capped at 40 hours per year).  Where such an accrual method is used, employees must be permitted to carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick leave for immediate use in the following year.  Alternatively, employers can satisfy the law’s requirements by front-loading 40 hours of sick leave at the beginning of each year.  Employees may begin using paid sick leave on the 90th day of employment.  Employees must be compensated at the same hourly rate the employee intended to work on the day leave is taken, employees are not entitled to compensation for lost tips.

What is the rollout timing?

Duluth, Minnesota ESST eligible employees begin to accrue earned sick and safe time hours beginning January 1st, 2020.

What are the penalties if not followed?

Duluth, Minnesota ESST Duluth City Code—Sec. 29E-12 Civil enforcement Sections (a) and (b):

    • Where prompt compliance is not forthcoming and an employer is suspected of a violation, the city clerk’s office may initiate a civil action against an employer and may fine that employer an amount that is legal and equitable relief to remedy the violation if the employer is found guilty of the violation.
    • An employee injured by a violation may bring a civil action in district court to recover any and all damages recoverable by law and may receive equitable relief as determined by the court.

The penalties in Duluth are unpredictable, therefore, non-compliance with the law is a very risky endeavor.

How can RASI assist?

RASI’s earned sick and safe time/paid leave tracking system will calculate and report earned sick and safe time for Duluth, MN, which includes providing employees, on each pay stub, the amount of accrued leave for the pay period and the year-to-date balance of accrued, used, and available leave hours. There is a store-level report that displays each employee’s year-to-date balance of accrued, used, and available leave hours.  If your company has a more generous leave plan than the city/state-mandated plan, RASI has the ability to set higher levels in order to accommodate a more generous plan.  If your company is currently stuck in a manual tracking system of earned sick and safe time/paid leave, RASI can import the current balances by the employee and take over the process of calculating and reporting earned sick and safe time/paid leave on the first check processed through RASI’s web-based payroll system.


For more information & FAQ’s:

Duluth (MN) Earned Sick and Safe Time

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