Minnesota Enacts New Law to Combat Wage Theft
While these changes only impact workers in the state of Minnesota, it is critical for all employees to understand the changes that have been brought on by these new regulations.
Changes to Required Language on Wage Notices
Language in Minnesota concerning an “employment agreement” has been removed from wage notices. Instead, this phrase has been replaced with a statement explaining that the document contains important details about employment and further informs employees to click on a box to the left to receive this information in another language.
This change addresses concerns that the Department of Labor’s reference to an employment agreement would improperly bind employers to something other than an at-will relationship.
Minnesota Department of Labor Translations
The Minnesota Department of Labor’s required language has already been translated into 12 languages, whose translations are provided on the Department of Labor’s Employee Wage Notice example. Employers should make sure to include these translations into existing wage notices.
Providing Wage Notices
Employers in Minnesota must provide workers with wage notices at the start of employment, meaning no later than the date on which the employee begins performing services for the employer.
An employer may provide a wage notice on a worker’s start date and may also provide notice on a date earlier than the start date. If an employee requests a translated wage notice, employers should strive to provide one as close to the start of employment as possible.
Required Wage Notice
On a wage notice document, an employer in Minnesota may provide links to relevant policies instead of printing the entire policy or policy summary on the notice. As a result, most employers have decided to post a short summary of policies on their wage notices.
Additionally, employers are not required to list the amount of each deduction that will be taken from the workers’ pay on wage notices.
Enforcement of Minnesota Wage Law
The new wage theft law in Minnesota authorizes the filing of a civil action or civil penalties against an employer. Thus, employers in Minnesota can end up facing enforcement actions, civil penalties, and/or lawsuits if they do not provide wage notices to their employees.
Why Wage Notice is Important to Restaurant Workers
Employees in the service industry are one of the groups most vulnerable to wage theft. By requiring employers in Minnesota to keep and provide records concerning the terms of a person’s employment, the state of Minnesota is taking a substantial step forward in combating wage theft, which can include minimum wage violations, withheld tips, and unpaid work.
Not only will the ordinance cut down the number of employers who commit wage theft, the statute will also allow the Minnesota Department of Civil Rights to more easily take over in wage theft cases.
Despite the substantial media coverage that this new statute has received, it remains uncertain if the regulation will inspire other states to pass similar measures.
Questions? Speak with an Employee-Side Wage and Hour Lawyer
If you are a worker who was not adequately notified about wages by an employer, it is important to remember that you have rights. Contact one of our experienced wage and hour attorneys at Herrmann Law today to schedule an initial consultation. Call 817-479-9229 or submit your information on our website (here) and someone from our office will contact you.