Friday, January 20, 2017

Court Says Non-Minneapolis Employers Not Likely Required to Comply with City’s Paid Sick Time Ordinance; New I-9 Form Must Now Be Used

While the presidential inauguration is front and center, here are two quick items employers will want to take note of:
  1. A Hennepin County Court judge has issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of Minneapolis’s new paid sick time ordinance against employers who are not located within the city limits.
  2. There is a new I-9 form that must be used starting this Sunday, January 22. Previous versions of the I-9 may not be used with new hires after that date.
Minneapolis Paid Sick and Safe Time. We have previously blogged about the Minneapolis paid sick leave ordinance. The ordinance requires employers to provide most employees with paid sick leave. It is scheduled to become effective for most businesses on July 1, 2017. Besides paid sick leave, the law requires various forms of recordkeeping and prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise its rights. The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights is charged with enforcement of the ordinance.

By its terms, the requirements of the ordinance apply to any employee who works within Minneapolis 80 or more hours per year, regardless of where the employer is located. This “extra-territorial application” of the law, however, is temporarily blocked by the new court order. The court will consider this issue further as the case progresses, but has said this aspect of the ordinance will likely be blocked permanently.

Minneapolis-based employers need to continue preparing for the ordinance’s July 1 effective date. Careful updating of handbooks, policies, and procedures will be necessary for most employers. In contrast, employers outside of Minneapolis with workers inside the city are probably wise to suspend preparations for compliance and take a wait-and-see approach.

New I-9 Form. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released a new Form I-9. All employers must use the new form for every newly hired employee beginning January 22. Among the key changes are that the I-9 will be easier to fill out electronically, which can be done using Adobe Reader. (The completed form must still be printed and signed in hard copy, however.) The new form can be downloaded from the USCIS site here.

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