Starting today, Minnesota’s wage theft law is a reality.
Passed in May 2019 the law amends existing state labor laws and adds new wage and hour requirements, protections and sanctions.
In an April Op-Ed Attorney General, Keith Ellison describes some of the scenarios the law was designed to combat.
“Wage theft takes many forms: having hours shaved off your paycheck; being forced to work off the clock; not getting paid for overtime; being paid at a lower rate than promised, sometimes below minimum wage; being paid in cash or other forms, with no Social Security, unemployment, or worker’s comp withheld; being misclassified as an independent contractor.”
The wage theft law provides $3.1 million over the next two years to provide the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) funds to enforce the state’s wage and hour laws. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
“This additional funding will allow our agency to add critical staff needed to perform more strategic and targeted workplace enforcement and conduct greater outreach and education for employers, workers, and their communities.”
As of today, the law adds a new requirement for Minnesota employers, including an employee notice upon employment and additional information for already-required earnings statements and employer record keeping.
Additional protections for workers, including adding criminal penalties for employers who commit wage theft goes into effect Aug. 1. These provisions will make wage theft a felony and establish more fines for employers that fail to submit proper documentation of wages. When it passed in May the law was described by legislators as, “the toughest wage theft laws in the country.”If found guilty of stealing wages, an employer could face up to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
It is estimated that 39,000 Minnesotans experience some form of wage theft each year.