1. No Small Business Exemption
The Minneapolis version of the sick time rule makes participation voluntary for companies with 6 or fewer employees covered by the ordinance. This is not the case in St. Paul. In fact, the ordinance mandates participation by all employers regardless of size that have “a sufficient nexus to the City of St. Paul.” What types of employees will be entitled to the benefit under the ordinance?
The St. Paul ordinance does include a six-month extension for covered employers with less than 24 employees. Regardless, these companies will have to offer the benefit and be in full compliance by the extended deadline.
2. Creates a Private Cause of Action
The St. Paul version of this ordinance creates a private cause of action. For better or worse, the St. Paul ordinance seems to skip over the administrative process put in place in the Minneapolis version. This means that employees may jump right to the courts if they believe they were harmed by an out of compliance employer. The employee will also have the right to collect attorneys fees if they prevail in their claim.
This means that companies should start thinking about how they will get in compliance with the ordinance by the effective date. Compliance may seem expensive, but it is necessary to better position the organization for the invariable wave of litigation.
3. Banking Creates Greater Benefit
The St. Paul ordinance allows employees to “bank” up to 80 hours. The ordinance requires a maximum of 48 hours annually like in the Minneapolis version. However, the St. Paul benefit permits employees to carry these hours over to the next year and continue to accrue hours. How does this impact companies with employees in St. Paul?
Bottom line: there are important practical differences between the Minneapolis and St. Paul sick and safe time ordinances. Employers with covered employees should start thinking about how this will impact their organization. Additional action to get in compliance by the effective dates will be necessary for every business – even companies with more generous benefits than what is required by the ordinance.
The attorneys at Loop Legal can help companies with employees working in St. Paul and Minneapolis begin this compliance process. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or to schedule a free consultation. Click here if you would like to read a copy of the draft ordinance in St. Paul.