On April 29, 2022, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed Senate File (S.F.) No. 2677 into law, replenishing the state unemployment coffers and authorizing payments to various frontline workers. This new law requires Minnesota employers to provide notice to eligible frontline workers regarding potential additional benefits available to them. The new law states the following:
Subd. 7. Notice requirement. (a) No later than 15 days after the application period is opened…, employers in a frontline sector must provide notice, in a form approved by the commissioner of labor and industry, advising all current workers who may be eligible for payments … of the assistance potentially available to them and how to apply for benefits. An employer must provide notice using the same means the employer uses to provide other work-related notices to employees. (Emphasis in bold italics added.)
(b) Notice … must be at least as conspicuous as:
(1) posting a copy of the notice at each work site where workers work and where the notice may be readily observed and reviewed by all workers working at the site; or
(2) providing a paper or electronic copy of the notice to all workers.
“Frontline sector” is defined as the following sectors under the new law: “(1) long-term care and home care; (2) health care; (3) emergency responders; (4) public health, social service, and regulatory service; (5) courts and corrections; (6) child care; (7) schools, including charter schools, state schools, and higher education; (8) food service, including production, processing, preparation, sale, and delivery; (9) retail, including sales, fulfillment, distribution, and delivery; (10) temporary shelters and hotels; (11) building services, including maintenance, janitorial, and security; (12) public transit; (13) ground and air transportation services; (14) manufacturing; and (15) vocational rehabilitation.” Thus, employers in the abovementioned areas will need to abide by the law’s fifteen-day notice provision.
A few important notes:
- The state has not yet opened the application period. The Minnesota Frontline Worker Pay website states the following: “We are busy working on the online application system now. When the system is ready to accept applications, eligible workers will have 45 days to apply for Frontline Worker Pay.” The commissioner of labor and industry’s creation of the application process will trigger an employer’s fifteen-day notice requirement. Minnesota’s Frontline Worker Pay website states the following:
Within 15 days after the application period is opened, employers in the identified frontline sector must provide notice to all current workers who may be eligible for payments of the assistance available to them and how to apply for payments. The Department of Labor and Industry is currently developing a form that can be used by employers to meet this obligation and it will be available on this page when it is complete.
- The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) is developing a form that frontline-sector employers may use to satisfy the notice requirement. It is expected that the application period will open soon after the DLI develops and distributes the application form.
- The DLI has provided a webpage where frontline-sector employers may register for email updates to stay informed as to when the fifteen-day period will be triggered.
Ogletree Deakins’ Minneapolis office will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to S.F. No. 2677 and will post updates on the Minnesota blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.