As expected, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry recently provided an update regarding the new Frontline Worker Pay Law by distributing a fact sheet and a set of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Specifically, the state anticipates that the application period during which eligible workers may apply for frontline worker pay will run from June 8, 2022, through July 22, 2022. All applications will move through the review process at the same time and the state will forward payments for processing together. In other words, the application process will not proceed on a “first-come, first-served” basis. In order to reach as many frontline workers as possible, the state has made the application available in several languages.
The application will use “knowledge-based authentication” to verify an applicant’s identity and will require the applicant to provide basic facts such as name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, employer name, employer address, dates of employment, and job title. Applicants may also be asked to verify their identification by scanning an image of an eligible identification document, such as a driver’s license, passport, or residence permit.
The state has provided limited additional details regarding the frontline sector categories outlined in the new law. The FAQs do provide that “some examples of industries not included in the definition of ‘frontline sectors’ include the professional, scientific, and technical services industry, the information services industry, the finance and insurance industry, the utilities industry, the construction industry[,] and the arts, entertainment and recreation industries.”
Additionally, applicants are required to certify that they meet the eligibility requirements of the law. This clarification will likely cause a sigh of relief for employers, given that a degree of uncertainty exists regarding who might be eligible under the new law. Specifically, the Minnesota Department of Labor’s response to FAQ 18 states that employers are “not required to provide documentation or other verification for an application to be processed.” Rather, “[t]he application will require the worker to certify that they meet all eligibility requirements and provide necessary information for verification.”
While the state has not yet finalized the form for employers to use to notify employees who are potentially eligible to receive payment under the Frontline Worker Pay Law, the FAQs do make clear that employers “must provide notice using the same means that the employer[s] use to provide other work-related notices to employees.” The notice must be “at least” as conspicuous as:
- “posting a copy of the notice at each worksite where workers work and where the notice may be readily observed and reviewed by all workers working at the site”; or
- “providing a paper or electronic copy of the notice to all workers.”
According to the state’s website, the notice form will be made available as the application dates are finalized.
Ogletree Deakins’ Minneapolis office will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the new law and will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center and on the Minnesota blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.