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| 1 minute read

January 1 is Coming: New Law May Spell PTO Policy Updates for Minnesota Employers

In May, the Minnesota Earned Sick and Safe Time law (ESST) was enacted, which created a universal state-run paid family and medical leave program effective Jan. 1, 2024. The ESST covers all employees (including part-time and temporary employees) working for their employer in Minnesota for at least 80 hours a year, regardless of employer size. 

Under the ESST, Minnesota employers must provide a minimum of one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked up to a minimum of 48 hours of leave annually beginning from the employee’s first day. The leave can be used for many reasons, including: the employee’s illness or need for preventative care; to care for a family member with an illness or need for medical care; and absence related to domestic abuse, sexual abuse, or to a public emergency. 

Employees must:

  • Be allowed to carry over their unused time each year
  • Be granted 48 hours at the beginning of the year and paid out for all accrued but unused ESST each year, or 
  • Be granted 80 hours of ESST at the beginning of each year

In addition, employers must clearly communicate with their employees about their policy, including: 1) a notice in their employee handbook of their compliant policy and 2) listing both hours accrued and used on each earnings statement (in English and the employee’s primary language). 

While employers should periodically review and revise their handbooks and policies with ever-changing laws, for employers in Minnesota, there is little time left to comply with the ESST. While policies are allowed to be more expansive than the ESST – meaning your current policy may be appropriate – it may not comply. So now is the perfect time to revisit and update Minnesota employment policies and handbooks.  


labor and employment