Last year the City of Bloomington, Minnesota became the fourth city in Minnesota to pass an ordinance requiring certain employers provide paid sick and safe leave to eligible employees. The City of Bloomington’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave (ESSL) Ordinance is set to go into effect on July 1, 2023. In light of the upcoming effective date, the City recently posted Initial Rules implementing the Ordinance and providing additional guidance to employers.

Covered Employees

The Rules clarify that ESSL applies to all workers (including part-time and temporary employees), irrespective of U.S. citizenship status, who perform work within the City of Bloomington for at least 80 hours in a calendar year. The Rules also emphasize that employers are required to provide  ESSL to an employee physically working in Bloomington city limits, regardless of an employer’s location.

The Rules permit employers with employees who work in multiple cities during a work shift to make a reasonable estimate of the employee’s time spent working in the City of Bloomington for the purposes of calculating coverage, accrual and use. The Rules identify documentation an employer may use in estimating the employee’s time spent in the City, including “dispatch logs, employee logs, delivery addresses and estimated travel times, or historical averages.”

Accrual of ESSL

Under the Ordinance, employees accrue one hour of ESSL per 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours in a year. In accordance with January 2023 amendments to the Ordinance, the Rules clarify that employers may permit employees to accrue time in fractions of an hour.

The Rules further clarify that employees may begin using accrued ESSL on the 91st day following the start of their employment. Current employees are entitled to use accrued ESSL on the effective date of the Ordinance or the 91st day of employment, whichever comes later.

Employer Notice and Record Keeping Obligations

Similar to the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth sick and safe time ordinances, employers who have an employee handbook must include notice of employees’ rights and remedies under the Bloomington ESSL Ordinance by providing a copy of the workplace notice poster in the handbook. The Rules also require an employer provide employees with a copy of the poster in any type of “orientation material” provided. The Rules do not, however, expand on what the City defines as “orientation material.” While the notice poster is currently available in English, the City Attorney’s Office is anticipated to make available workplace notice posters in Chinese, Khmer, Spanish, Somali, and Vietnamese.

Employers must also provide employees with earnings statements showing the number of ESSL hours accrued and unused at the end of each pay period.

Additional Information Forthcoming

The City of Bloomington is expected to publish an FAQ guide by the end of this month, April 2023. The FAQs will be available on Bloomington’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave website.

What’s Next?

In response to Bloomington’s new Initial Rules and in light of the upcoming effective date, covered employers should consider taking these steps: (1) review current policies to determine compliance with the Ordinance and Initial Rules, and (2) update employee handbooks and orientation materials if necessary.

For more information on the Bloomington ESSL Ordinance, see our articles,  Bloomington Becomes the Fourth City in Minnesota to Require Paid Sick and Safe Leave and Bloomington and St. Paul’s Sick and Safe Time Ordinances Get Checkups in the New Year.

The Bloomington ESSL Ordinance is included in our leave law map database that provides subscribers with a detailed explanation of state and local leave laws around the country. The Leave and Accommodation Suite is developed and updated continually by our Disability, Leave & Health Management attorneys. Register here if you would like to learn about our Leave & Accommodation Suite.

If you have any questions, please contact the Jackson Lewis attorney(s) with whom you regularly work. 

(Law clerk Kaylyn Stanek contributed significantly to this article.)