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Learning the truth about Minnesota’s minimum wage laws — II

Last time, our blog discussed how once the euphoria associated with landing a new job wears off, a person should perhaps take some time to educate themselves about the wage laws in their state in order to protect themselves from possible exploitation by their employer. 

In keeping with this idea, we started discussing some basic background information on Minnesota law in this area. Today’s post will continue this important discussion. 

What type of work is not covered by the state’s minimum wage laws?

It’s important to understand that there are employees considered exempt from the minimum wage requirements here in Minnesota. While a complete list is beyond the scope of a single blog post, some of the more notable examples of exempt employees include taxi drivers, babysitters, those tasked with police or fire protection services and volunteers for nonprofits.  

What about overtime?

Minnesota law is very clear when it comes to overtime: employers must pay 1.5 times the regular pay rate to federally covered employees for all hours worked over 40 in a seven-day period.

Similarly, the law states that employers must pay 1.5 times the regular pay rate to non-federally covered employees for all hours worked over 48 in a seven-day period.

What about rest periods?

It may surprise people to learn that the law in Minnesota is actually somewhat silent on rest periods in that it doesn’t mandate any specific amount of time that an employer must provide.

However, employers are legally obligated to permit employees to use the restroom once every four hours and provide adequate time for a meal every eight hours.

Can employers require employees to accept certain forms of payment?

While things like payroll cards or direct deposit can certainly be handy, employees are not required to accept their wages via these mechanisms. Indeed, state law says that employees who choose not to utilize either a payroll card or direct deposit must be paid by cash or check.

Those employees with concerns about violations of the state’s wage and hour laws by their employer should strongly consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.

Source: Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, “A guide to Minnesota’s minimum wage laws,” Accessed March 5, 2015

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