Minnesota Labor Laws

Minnesota Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of Minnesota to have a solid understanding of Minnesota labor laws.

  • Are you struggling to understand your rights regarding sick leave and paid time off in Minnesota?
  • Confused about your employer’s obligations under state minimum wage and leave laws?
  • Concerned about your working conditions and health care benefits as a full-time employee?

When it comes to Minnesota employment laws, including the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act, there is plenty to unpack.

With an understanding of OSHA guidelines and state-specific leave laws, we hope to empower employees and employers alike.

This article is for:

  • Tailored for employees and employers in Minnesota seeking clarity on their rights and responsibilities.
  • Specifically addresses the concerns of full-time workers and private employers.
  • Offers guidance on navigating state-specific regulations surrounding sick leave, paid time off, and health care benefits.

Whether you’re an employee seeking fair treatment or an employer striving to uphold legal standards, our guide aims to get you thinking about compliance and fair treatment for all parties involved.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Minnesota labor laws.

Minnesota Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

The current Minnesota minimum wage varies depending on employer size.

Large employers (those with annual gross revenue of $500,000 or more) must pay a minimum wage of $10.59 per hour.

Small employers have a slightly lower minimum wage of $8.63 per hour.

Cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul might have their own, higher minimum wage ordinances.

Tipped Employees

Under Minnesota law, the state does not allow for tips received by employees to be credited toward the payment of minimum wages.

Minnesota Payment Laws

Pay Frequency

Minnesota law mandates that employers must pay employees at least once every 31 days on a regularly scheduled payday.

Final Payouts

If an employee is terminated, all wages earned must be paid immediately. If an employee quits, the employer has until the next regularly scheduled payday to issue the final paycheck.


Only legally permitted deductions can be made from an employee’s wages. These include taxes, court-ordered deductions, and deductions pre-authorized in writing by the employee.

Minnesota Overtime Laws

Standard Overtime

Employees are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 48 hours in a workweek.


Some employees may be exempt from overtime requirements, including salaried executives, administrative workers, and certain professionals.

Minnesota Break Laws

Rest Breaks

Minnesota employers are not mandated to provide regular rest breaks.

Meal Break

Employees must be given sufficient time to eat a meal.

Restroom Breaks

Employers must allow employees reasonable time to use the nearest restroom at least every four hours.

Minnesota Leave Requirements

Minnesota has both state and federal laws pertaining to employee leaves:

Sick and Safe Time

Some Minnesota cities have ordinances requiring employers to provide earned sick and safe time to employees. This allows employees to take time off for their own illnesses, caring for sick family members, or reasons related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.

Parental Leave

Employers with 21 or more employees must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave for employees needing time to bond with a new child.

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

Eligible employees at companies with 50 or more employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for their own serious health conditions, to care for a family member with a severe health condition, or for certain military-related reasons.

Other Leave Rights

Minnesota also provides employees the right to take unpaid leaves for school conferences, bone marrow or organ donation, or military service.

Child Labor Laws in Minnesota

Minnesota has strict child labor laws to protect minors in the workforce.

Age Restrictions

Minors under 16 cannot work during school hours and have limits on hours of work per day and week. Teens aged 16-17 have no hour restrictions but cannot work overnight on school days.

Prohibited Jobs

Minors are barred from certain hazardous jobs deemed detrimental to their well-being.

Minnesota Hiring Laws


Minnesota employers cannot discriminate during hiring based on factors such as race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, or public assistance.

Background Checks

Employers can conduct background checks but must comply with state and federal regulations.


Employers in some cities cannot ask about an applicant’s criminal history on initial job applications.

Minnesota Termination Laws

At-Will Employment

Minnesota is an at-will employment state. Employees can be terminated for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as it’s not illegal or discriminatory.

Notice Requirements

Employers are not required by law to provide advance notice.

Occupational Safety in Minnesota

Minnesota has its own Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) to enforce workplace safety and health regulations.

General Duty Clause

Employers must provide employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm.

Specific Safety Standards

MNOSHA sets specific safety standards for various industries and hazards, such as fall protection, machine guarding, and chemical handling.


Employers must document workplace injuries and illnesses.

Employee Rights

Employees can raise safety concerns without retaliation and have the right to refuse dangerous work tasks under specific circumstances.

Additional Minnesota Labor Law Considerations

Whistleblower Protections

Employees who report unlawful activity or workplace safety violations are protected from retaliation.

Workers’ Compensation

Minnesota has a workers’ compensation system providing benefits to workers who get injured or ill on the job.

Independent Contractors

Minnesota has specific criteria to determine whether a worker qualifies as an employee or an independent contractor. Misclassification could have legal consequences.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Employers may be able to conduct drug and alcohol testing under certain conditions.

Employee Handbooks

Clear and well-written employee handbooks can help communicate workplace policies and expectations, potentially reducing misunderstandings and disputes.

Where to Seek Help with Minnesota Labor Law Questions

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI)

The DLI is the primary agency responsible for enforcing Minnesota labor laws.

Minnesota Department of Human Rights

This department handles discrimination complaints in employment.

Federal Resources

The U.S. Department of Labor covers federal labor laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):

Legal Aid

Legal aid societies can provide assistance with employment-related legal issues for low-income individuals.

Private Attorneys

An attorney specializing in employment law offers in-depth legal advice and representation on complex labor law matters.

Important Notes

  • Minnesota labor laws are subject to change. Always consult the most updated government sources for current regulations.
  • Specific local ordinances may have stricter requirements than state laws, especially in larger cities.
  • This article is not a substitute for legal advice; always seek professional guidance on individual labor law situations.


Understanding Minnesota’s labor laws is crucial for creating fair, safe, and productive work environments. By staying informed about their rights and obligations, both employers and employees can foster positive employer-employee relations, ultimately benefiting businesses and workers throughout the state.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Minnesota labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Minnesota, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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