Salaried employees are individuals who receive a predetermined fixed amount of compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or less frequently. There are several regulations that govern the working conditions of these employees.
This article aims to give an overview of the relevant laws and regulations that apply to both salaried employees and their employers in Minnesota. The topics covered include payment policies, break and leave entitlements, as well as the distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees.
This article covers:
- Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Minnesota
- Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for Minnesota
- Pay for Working Overtime for Minnesota Salaried Employees
- Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Minnesota Salaried Employees
- Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Minnesota
- Male and Female Salaried Employees in Minnesota
- Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Minnesota
- Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Minnesota
- Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in Minnesota
- Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Minnesota
In Minnesota, employers are generally obligated to pay their employees at least once within a 31-day work period. Nevertheless, the payment frequency can differ depending on the industry and nature of work. Employers frequently employ payroll hours tracking to oversee payment periods and authorization processes, thereby preventing situations where wages go unpaid and ensuring adherence to legal requirements.
New employees typically receive payment on the first regular payday for all wages earned in the first period of a calendar month. School workers can negotiate different payment arrangements with their employers through written agreements, while first responders and firefighters may agree on longer payment intervals.
Migrant workers in Minnesota are entitled to receive a paycheck every 15 days, and public utility companies must pay their employees on a semi-monthly basis.
Certain salaried employees in Minnesota can still be eligible for overtime pay, although there are several exemptions from the overtime pay requirement, and some employers mistakenly classify their employees as “salaried” to avoid paying overtime.
An employee’s salaried status is determined by their actual job duties, not just their job title. Both federal and state laws have specific criteria to determine whether an employee is exempt from overtime regulations.
In accordance with the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must provide overtime compensation for any hours worked beyond 48 in a workweek, unless the employee qualifies for exemption as specified in Minnesota Statutes 177.23, subdivision 7.
To calculate their overtime rate, salaried employees must divide their salary by the number of hours it compensates for, which gives them the regular rate.
Then, they can determine their overtime pay by multiplying the regular rate by the number of overtime hours worked and the standard overtime rate of 1.5 per hour.
Overtime Rate for Salaried Employees = regular rate x Overtime Hours x Overtime Rate (1.5)
For salaried employees whose salary covers less than 48 hours in a workweek, their regular rate will be added for each subsequent hour worked up to 48. Only after reaching 48 hours will time-and-a-half be applied.
On the other hand, if the employee’s salary already covers 48 hours in a workweek, any hours worked beyond 48 will be paid at the time-and-a-half rate.
Certain employees and professions in the majority of US states are exempt from receiving overtime pay according to federal law.
The exemptions encompass:
- Highly compensated employees earning over $107,432 annually
- Executive and administrative employees earning at least $684 per week
- Professional employees like artists, researchers, scientists, and skilled computer professionals
- Outside salespeople
- Mechanics, taxi drivers, seasonal employees, sugar beet hand laborers, babysitters, and agricultural technicians
Learn more in detail about Minnesota Overtime Laws.
Minnesota law provides wage protections and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has the authority to enforce these regulations and penalize employers who do not comply with wage payment requirements. Furthermore, “wage theft” is considered a crime under Minnesota law, punishable by a prison term of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000.
Employers who fail to correctly compensate for overtime may face significant consequences. Along with paying the owed overtime wages, the employer could be held responsible for liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, and other related costs.
Minnesota stands out as one of the states with a pay equity law, known as the Local Government Pay Equity Act (LGPEA). This law addresses the issue of gender-based pay disparities by ensuring that the criteria used by employers to determine wages are not influenced by gender.
Under the LGPEA, local governments in Minnesota are obligated to conduct a thorough analysis of their employee pay structure to identify any signs of gender inequity. Every three years, they must submit a report to the State of Minnesota Local Government Pay Equity Coordinator, demonstrating that they have achieved the mandated level of pay equity.
The Equal Pay Act, akin to Minnesota’s Local Government Pay Equity Act, operates at the federal level. As per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), this law mandates that men and women in the same workplace receive equal pay for substantially equal work, even if the job titles differ. The focus is on job content rather than job titles to assess equality.
A key distinction between the federal Equal Pay Act and Minnesota’s LGPEA lies in the requirements. Unlike Minnesota law, the federal act does not necessitate employers to utilize a job evaluation or point system, nor does it mandate ongoing reporting.
In Minnesota, salaried employees have access to various types of leave. Family and Medical Leave under federal and state laws covers specific family and medical emergencies, with the more protective law applied.
Military Leave allows up to 14 weeks of absence for caring for an injured family member on active duty, and employers must grant reasonable leave for family members on active duty. Jury Duty Leave is granted without punishment, and Witness Leave lets employees attend court proceedings or law enforcement questioning. Voting Leave grants paid time off for eligible employees on election day without negative consequences.
Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave requires companies with 20 or more employees to offer at least 40 hours of leave for donation, extendable if needed. School Activity and Conference Leave allows up to 16 unpaid hours per year for attending child-related events.
To ensure that employees fully enjoy their granted leave benefits, especially those based on their work hours, it may be essential to monitor work hours or implement automated systems for tracking time off to simplify the procedure.
In Minnesota, employers are obligated to adhere to state regulations and grant their employees adequate time for restroom and meal breaks. The specific duration of each break is determined by the employer, but any breaks that are shorter than 20 minutes are considered paid breaks. Furthermore, employees must have access to restroom breaks every four hours of work, and for those working eight hours or more, a meal break must be provided.
However, there are exceptions to the break laws in Minnesota. Although employers must offer meal breaks, there is no strict requirement that these breaks must last for exactly 20 minutes. The Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act specifies that employees should be given sufficient time to eat a meal, but employers generally follow the customary 20-minute break duration. Additionally, certain professions are exempt from break and overtime laws, as their job nature allows them to take breaks at multiple intervals during the day. These exempt professions include taxi drivers, babysitters, seafarers, religious employees, and certain agricultural workers.
Exempt employees must receive a fixed and predetermined weekly salary. If such an employee is absent for a full workday, the employer has the option to deduct a proportional amount from the employee’s salary (e.g., one-fifth of the weekly salary for those with a five-day workweek). While salaried employees do not typically monitor their attendance, there are situations where such time and attendance tracking can be beneficial.
While federal law permits certain partial-day salary deductions for missed work hours due to FMLA leave, illness, or disability, Minnesota law does not allow such deductions.
Minnesota practices employment-at-will, allowing employers to terminate employment for any lawful reason. However, employers must comply with labor laws to avoid violations, including discrimination and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Although state law does not require notice of separation, it is common practice to provide a 2-week notice. If an employee requests a reason for termination within 2 weeks of separation, the employer must provide a truthful written explanation within 10 days.
Minnesota also mandates that employers pay all unpaid wages to terminated employees. If an employee requests their wages, the employer must make the payment within 24 hours. For employees who quit, wages are due in the next pay period starting 5 days after their last day of work. The maximum period for payment, excluding the 5-day period, is 20 days. However, if the employee is paid monthly and the termination occurs in the first 5 days of the month, the payment may be delayed until the next pay period.
Learn more about Minnesota Labor Laws through our detailed guide.
Important Cautionary Note
When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.