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Minnesota Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act (ESSL) Takes Effect January 1, 2024

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The Minnesota Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act (ESSL) will go into effect on January 1, 2024. The ESSL applies to all employers in Minnesota, regardless of the number of employees they have. Under the ESSL, employees are entitled to accrue 1 hour of ESSL leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours each year. ESSL leave can be used for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Sickness
  • Caring for a sick family member
  • Preventive care
  • Domestic violence leave
  • Military leave

Employers can either front-load ESSL leave or accrue it over time. If employers choose to front-load 48 or 80 hours there are potential year-end payout obligations to consider. If employers choose to accrue ESSL leave, employees will begin accruing ESSL leave on the first day they are employed

The ESSL does not require employers to pay out unused ESSL leave when an employee leaves the company. However, employers may choose to do so.

Employers should start planning now to ensure that they are in compliance with the law when it takes effect in 2024. Here are some of the things that employers need to do to comply with the ESSL:

  • Every employer with an existing handbook will need an update to comply
  • Changes will likely impact the application of a variety of other existing policies
  • Policy changes are not just administrative – employers need to really understand how changes will impact day -to -day operations
  • Be proactive and get on the list right away for update support with your attorney and/or advisor
  • Don’t forget about manager/supervisor training and employee communication related to changes

Employers who do not comply with the ESSL may be subject to fines.

The ESSL is a complex law, and employers should consult with an attorney and an HR Professional to ensure that they are in compliance.

For more information on the ESSL, please visit the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry website.

To learn more about the act and its impacts, watch the recording of the webinar. The webinar includes specific examples and further details about the act.


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Leah Davis, CPA

With experience and empathy, Leah develops customized solutions to help employers solve their people challenges.

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