What are Minnesota Labor Laws?
Things don’t happen by themselves. A bus needs a driver to run, students need teachers to learn, and a factory needs laborers for its effective functioning. Labor refers to the aggregate of physical and mental efforts used in the creation of goods and services. The size of the adult population defines the size of a nation’s labor force.
Minnesota labor laws
Minnesota is also known as the ‘land of ten thousand lakes.’ It is 12th largest in the area and 22nd most populous in the U.S. With the heavily diversified economy, Minnesota standard of living rose amongst the top in the U.S. The state of Minnesota is among the best educated and wealthiest in the U.S. nation. With the diversified economy, there comes a need for laws to maintain order. The Department of Labor and Industry is responsible for maintaining the labor laws in Minnesota.
Every state has laws dealing with child labor and the issues associated with it. Children below the age of 14 cannot be employed in the state of Minnesota. There are exceptions which depend on the type of job which includes newspaper carrier, as an actor/actress or model and into youth athletic program. A minor who is under the age of 16 cannot work during school hours without an employment certificate issued by the school. A minor cannot be employed to work for more than 40 hours a week and not more than 8 hours a day.
The proof of age of a minor must be maintained by the employer as a part of the payroll records. Minors are not allowed to work with hazardous materials such as explosives, operate power-driven machinery or motor vehicles, serve liquor or work in the construction site. An employer who fails to comply with the labor laws of the Minnesota Child Labor Standards Act will be subject to penalties.
Each year, the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry determines and announces the inflation-adjusted minimum wage rate in the state of Minnesota. In Minnesota, the state minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum-wage. Those employees, who are covered by both, are paid the higher state minimum wage. Employees must be paid the current minimum wage set by the Department of Labor and Industry. Under the Minnesota law, disabled workers unable to earn the state minimum wage can work at a wage proportionate with their ability.
According to the Minnesota Fair Labor Standard Act, an employer has to pay an overtime wage for all hours worked by the employee, more than the 48 hours per week. Overtime wage is at least one and a half times the employee's regular pay. It is based on actual hours worked in a week with seven working days. Holiday hours, vacation and sick leave are not counted.
According to the Federal Fair Labor Law, an employer has to pay overtime wage for all hours worked by the employee, more than 40 hours per week. These employers include-
- hospitals and nursing homes
- private and public schools
- federal, state and local government agencies
- business with gross annual sales of $500000 or more
- employers that produce or handle goods for national commerce
In the state of Minnesota, employment is ‘at will.’ An employee can be fired for any reason which is not illegal such as sex, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation or marital status. Even an employee can quit for any reason. By law, a notice of separation is not needed by both parties. Notice is given as a courtesy to collect benefits. A terminated employee’s paycheck has to be paid within 24 hours of termination. In case an employee quits, wages are due on the next pay period. The employer has ten calendar days to audit the accounts of the discharged or quitting employee before the wages are paid.
Labor laws in the state of Minnesota also cover pregnancy and parental leave where leave is sanctioned for 12 weeks post birth or adoption. It is unpaid leave, and the employees can choose when to avail the leave. The labor laws governed by the Department of Labor and Industry in Minnesota is framed to benefit both the employer and the employee.