It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Minnesota statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few Minnesota labor laws every small business owner should know.


First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:


  • Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one. 
  • Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid medical leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one. 
    • Employers may establish a policy denying payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment as long as there is a signed contract.
    • If there is a policy in place that says vacation time will be paid out upon separation of employment, it must be followed.  
    • Employers may establish a policy disqualifying employees from receiving payment for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with certain requirements. 
    • Employers can implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy that requires employees to use their vacation time by a set date, as long as employees have been informed in writing. 
  • Jury Duty: Employers do not have to pay employees for time spent responding to a jury summons, but employees cannot be terminated or otherwise penalized for doing so. 
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave:  Employers are required to provide paid time off for employees to vote
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave. 

Final Paycheck 

  • Employers have 24 hours to pay employees all due wages if they are terminated or laid off. 
    • If the employee was in charge of handling money or property of the employer, the employer has 10 days to audit and adjust the accounts of the employee before paying out the final wages. 
  • If an employee quits, they must be paid all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday. 
    • If the next payday falls less than 5 days after the employee quits, the employer may pay the final wages on the second payday or within 20 days. 

Minimum Wage

  • The current minimum wage for “large” employers (those with at least $500,000 in gross annual sales) is $9.86. 
  • The current minimum wage for “small” employers (those with no more than $500,000 in gross annual sales) and for youth employees is $8.04.
  • An annual review must be conducted annually to increase minimum wage by 2.5% or the inflation percentage increase, whichever is less. 

Tipped Wages

  • Tipped employees must be paid the standard minimum wage rate. 
  • Employers may not require employees to participate in a tip pool or sharing arrangement. 
    • Employees may voluntarily share tips with other employees, but not under coercion. 

Child Labor

  • Minors under the age of 16 are subject to the following time restrictions:
    • Up to 8 hours a day, 40 hours per week.
    • Work is prohibited between the hours of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • Minors 16 and 17 years of age have no hour restrictions, but may not work between the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on school days (11:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with parental permission). 

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • Employers are required to provide sufficient restroom time, and employees who work 8 or more consecutive hours must be given enough time to eat a meal. 
  • Breaks must be paid if they are less than 20 minutes in duration. 
  • Time to use the nearest restroom must be given every 4 hours. 
  • Employers are required to pay employees an overtime rate of 1 ½ time their regular pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt. 

Employment Discrimination

  • The Minnesota Human Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, status with regard to public assistance, disability or age. 
  • Minnesota law protects workers under 40 in age discrimination cases, unlike the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which only covers workers over 40.
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       


Minnesota is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are no laws regarding shift scheduling in Michigan. 

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