Minnesota has enacted legislation (Senate File 2677) that requires employers of frontline workers to notify them that they may be eligible for a one-time payment from the state. The payments are meant to compensate these workers for responding to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
No later than 15 days after the application period is opened, employers in the frontline sector must provide notice advising all current workers of the potential benefit and how to apply for it. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is currently developing a form that can be used to meet this requirement, which will be available here when published. Employers must provide notice using the same means used to provide other work-related notices to employees.
Under the law, a frontline worker is defined as an individual employed in one of the following sectors:
· Long-term care and home care;
· Emergency responders;
· Public health, social service, and regulatory service;
· Courts and corrections;
· Child care;
· Schools, including charter schools, state schools, and higher education;
· Food service, including production, processing, preparation, sale, and delivery;
· Retail, including sales, fulfillment, distribution, and delivery;
· Temporary shelters and hotels;
· Building services, including maintenance, janitorial, and security;
· Public transit;
· Ground and air transportation services;
· Manufacturing; and
· Vocational rehabilitation.
To be eligible for the payments, frontline workers must meet the following criteria:
· Employed for at least 120 hours in Minnesota in one or more frontline sectors
from March 15, 2020 through June 30, 2021;
· Wasn’t able to telework due to the nature of the individual's work and worked in close proximity to individuals outside of the worker's household;
· Meets specified income requirements; and
· Didn’t receive unemployment insurance benefits for more than 20 weeks between March 15, 2020 and June 26, 2021.
If you are in one of the covered sectors:
- Monitor the Department’s Frontline Worker Pay page for updates and the model notice.
- Provide notice within 15 days of the opening of the application period.
- Document when and to whom you provided the notice.