Worker denied sick time will get $11,000 for lost wages – the first settlement under Minneapolis law

It's the first retaliation case settled under Minneapolis' time off requirement law.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

A Minneapolis worker who was denied time off after requesting sick time from his employer will be paid $11,000 in a settlement – the first case of retaliation the city has settled since the new requirement went into effect.

The employee worked at a gas station, and the business "strongly discouraged" its workers from using sick leave, the city said in a news release Friday. The employee became sick and asked for time off, but was denied, then banned from the property and taken off the work schedule.

"He effectively lost his job," the city said.

(Note: The gas station and worker are unnamed by the city – a data request for documents related to the case has been submitted by GoMN.)

The worker lives paycheck to paycheck, and as a result of the gas station's actions was unable to cover rent, the city said. He was evicted and moved in with family members.

He reported a violation to the City of Minneapolis in the fall of 2016. Since that time, the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights reached a settlement with the gas station.

  • The worker will get $11,000 in lost wages;
  • The department will monitor the business to ensure it's following city time off laws;
  • And Civil Rights staff will offer training to the employees and management there.

New Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement the city's Department of Civil Rights has his "full support" in following up on reports of violations such as this.

“The quickest way to erode public trust is to fail to enforce a policy that people helped shape and that the City promised to implement," he said. "Our Civil Rights Department is fully committed to enforcing the landmark policies that help boost health and safety for people who live and work in our city."

The city said the supervisor who denied the worker time off isn't with the company any more.

The sick and safe time law

Any business that operates in Minneapolis has to offer what the city calls "sick and safe time." It covers all employees, including full-timers, part-timers, temp workers, and paid interns.

The policy – a signature proposal of former mayor Betsy Hodges – passed in May of 2016, and became law on July 1, 2017.

The city had estimated that more than 100,000 people working in Minneapolis would benefit. Proponents also said those workers that previously did not have access to time off were disproportionately low-wage employees and people of color.

Workers accrue the time off at a rate of one hour per 30 hours worked (or faster, if a business wants to up the rate).

Businesses with more than five employees have to offer it paid, while places with five or fewer workers may offer the time off as unpaid.

Next Up

police lights

AMBER Alert: Missing 2-year-old found safe

The alert was issued Sunday evening.

Irv Cross

NFL Pro-Bowler, Twin Cities broadcaster Irv Cross dies at 81

Cross was a Pro Bowl cornerback, but his biggest impact was made after his career.

snow

Here's how much snow fell in Minnesota on Sunday

Some localized areas saw more than expected.

Lindsay Guentzel

For The Week: What's harder than making a meal plan? Sticking to it!

Lindsay Guentzel says you shouldn't give up on your meal planning routines.

snow, plow

Winter storm warnings issued as snow system shifts in Minnesota

The worst of the snow will now hit further north, affecting areas including St. Cloud and the I-94 corridor.

Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba beats the clock to give Wild sixth straight win

Dumba scored as overtime came to a close for another Wild victory.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Bradley Beal terrorizes Timberwolves in loss to Wizards

Beal and the Wizards handed the Wolves their seventh straight defeat.

Marcus Carr / Gopher basketball

Gophers tourney hopes take another blow with loss to Nebraska

Marcus Carr scored a career-high 41 points, but Minnesota is still winless on the road.

Related

Minneapolis will try for $15 minimum wage – right after lawmakers moved to block it

The city is starting the new minimum wage process hours after state lawmakers passed a bill to block them from doing just that.

State accuses trucking firm of 'wage theft' after suddenly laying off 95 workers

The shut-down of a freight company in Roseville has turned ugly, with the state of Minnesota accusing it continuing to operate under a different name, but without unionized workers.

Workers march in Minneapolis to demand $15 minimum wage

Workers rallied in the Twin Cities in the fight for $15 an hour.

Twin Cities workers push for better pay and clear benefits on Labor Day

That includes a $15 minimum wage and posters explaining workers' time off rights.

Daycare

Daycare to pay $20,000 in back wages after denying staff COVID-19 paid leave

Federal law stipulated they were entitled to paid leave.

Ameriprise settles claim it underpaid black workers, but says it's inaccurate

The federal office says 20 black workers weren't paid equal to white workers. Ameriprise says that's inaccurate.

How the minimum wage in Minnesota and Minneapolis will change on Jan. 1, 2018

It's going up both statewide and in Minneapolis, but to different hourly rates.

All minimum wage workers in Minnesota will get a raise

It's all thanks to inflation – and a 2014 law.