City of Minneapolis surpasses $1 million in settlement agreements protecting workers

January 17, 2023

The City of Minneapolis has reached more than $1 million in settlement agreements for workers, resolving City investigations and enforcement of the City’s workplace regulations, which include paid sick leave, minimum wage and wage theft prevention ordinances. These previously unpaid wages and damages collected represent the efforts of countless community members to protect the most vulnerable people in our economy, especially during a pandemic.

The City’s Civil Rights Department has also provided over 4,000 free consultations to businesses to educate them on the City’s labor standards and help improve the quality of jobs across the city. The City is currently sponsoring a program to subsidize payroll processing and bookkeeping services for small businesses, building better jobs, employee supports and business success.

A recent settlement between the Civil Rights Department and a staffing agency delivered over $60,000 in back wages and damages to 23 workers and ensured that they will receive access to paid sick leave moving forward. Workers also received notification of their rights and will find sick leave accrual noted on all pay stubs.

“We stand up for workers in Minneapolis,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “They need to be paid fairly, treated equitably, and valued for their service and skill. The cities that embrace – not hide from – worker’s rights will be the cities that succeed in the future.”

“This benchmark amount of recovered wages is a win for these workers and it demonstrates to employers in Minneapolis that there are monetary consequences for workplace violations and theft,” said City Council President Andrea Jenkins. “No person should be denied their earned benefits or wages. The City of Minneapolis is a model of what accountability looks like as our state and federal legislators currently work to advance paid sick and safe and family time proposals.”

City’s workplace regulations

On Jan. 1, 2023, the minimum wage in Minneapolis went up to $15.19 at large businesses and franchises. It remains $13.50 at employees with 100 or fewer employees until it increases to $14.50 on July 1, 2023 and passes $15 next year. The City is committed to supporting an economy that includes everyone.

The City’s sick and safe time ordinance requires employers to provide some access to leave because working-while-sick endangers everyone. The goal of the ordinance is to protect public health and prevent workers from being penalized because of illness or a need to care for a sick family member. It applies based on the physical location of an employee while the employee is performing work within the city’s geographical borders.

The City’s wage theft prevention ordinance provides workers in Minneapolis with an additional avenue to recover unpaid wages through enforcement by the City’s Civil Rights Department.  Wage theft is underpayment or failure to pay all wages earned.

Enforcement of workers’ rights supports the City’s goals of stimulating inclusive economic growth by reducing economic and racial disparities. Learn more on the City’s website.