New Business Related Laws Taking Effect

By Sara Grafstrom posted 01-02-2024 12:42


Along with the many changes that were passed in the Human Service related bills, there were many changes passed during the 2023 legislative session that impact businesses and employers.

ARRM has compiled a list of some of the changes members should be aware of that either went into effect January 1, 2024, or earlier.

For a full list of new laws passed by the legislature click here, and please reach out with any questions. 

·       Noncompete Agreements Banned: The new law makes noncompete agreements void and unenforceable.

·       Carbon-free 2040: A new standard has been set for Minnesota to be carbon-free by 2040. This new standard will require utilities in Minnesota to get a percentage of their electricity from carbon-free sources, starting with 80% in 2030, 90% in 2035 and 100% in 2040.

·       Changes to Employer-Sponsored Meetings: There is a new limitation on an employer’s ability to require employees to attend meetings regarding unionization as well as religious or political matters. The new law states that an employer must not discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize an employee because the employee declines to attend or participate in an employer-sponsored meeting if the meeting is to communicate the opinion of the employer about religious or political matters.

o   This new law does not limit the rights of the employer to conduct meetings involving religious or political matters, as long as attendance is wholly voluntary.

o   “Political Matters” is defined in statute as “matters relating to elections for political office, political parties, proposals to change legislation, proposals to change regulations, proposals to change public policy, and the decision to join or support any political party or political, civic, community, fraternal, or labor organization.”

·       State Minimum Wage Increase: On Monday, January 1, the minimum wage in Minnesota will increase by 2.5% to adjust for inflation. Large employers are required to increase the minimum wage from $10.59 to $10.85 an hour.

o   Please Note: The asleep overnight rate is tied to the state minimum wage and will be automatically updated on January 1st.

o   For Family Residential Service providers, the asleep overnight wage is 36% of the minimum wage rate for large employers, so the rate will increase from $3.81 to $3.91.

·       Red Flag Law: Starting January 1, certain individuals can petition a court for an “extreme risk protection order”, including on an emergency basis, which can temporarily prohibit someone from owing a firearm.

·       Prohibition on employers asking about or considering an applicant’s past or current pay during the hiring process: Beginning January 1, no employer will be allowed to ask about current or past pay either on an application, in an interview or as part of salary negotiations. An employee can voluntarily, without prompting, share past and/or current pay with a prospective employer. Pay history cannot be used by an employer against an employee for a lower way but may be used by an employee to support a higher wage.

·       Posting of veterans’ benefits and services: A new provision requires employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees to display a poster created by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industries in a conspicuous place accessible to all employees in the workplace, containing various benefits and services available to benefits. The posting is required beginning on January 1. You can find a link to the workplace poster, along with other required posters, here.

·       Expanded protections and accommodations for pregnant and lactating employees: Lactating employees shall now receive specific break times of their choice, lactation spaces and notice of these accommodations must now be given to employees in writing. The law also states that new parents have a right to up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid parental leave. Prior law applied to employers with 21 or more employees and employees who worked at least half-time for 12 months immediately preceding the request for leave, now all employees will have the right to unpaid time off from work to care for a new baby.

·       Earned Safe and Sick Time: Starting January 1, 2024, employers are mandated to:

o   Provide one hour of fully paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours a year with a carry-over up to 80 hours, including temporary and part-time employees.