3rd Engrossment - 79th Legislature (1995 - 1996) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to employment; modifying provisions regarding 1.3 minimum wages; increasing penalties; modifying 1.4 employer liability provisions; imposing a penalty; 1.5 changing inclusions in earnings statement; amending 1.6 Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 177.27, subdivisions 1.7 2, 4, and by adding subdivisions; 177.30; 181.02; 1.8 181.03; 181.031; and 181.032; proposing coding for new 1.9 law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 181; repealing 1.10 Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 177.27, subdivision 1.11 6; 177.33; and 181.17. 1.12 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.13 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, 1.14 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 1.15 Subd. 2. [SUBMISSION OF RECORDS; PENALTY.] The 1.16 commissioner may require the employer of employees working in 1.17 the state to submit to the commissioner photocopies, certified 1.18 copies, or, if necessary, the originals of employment records 1.19 which the commissioner deems necessary or appropriate. The 1.20 records which may be required include full and correct 1.21 statements in writing, including sworn statements by the 1.22 employer, containing information relating to wages, hours, 1.23 names, addresses, and any other information pertaining to the 1.24 employer's employees and the conditions of their employment as 1.25 the commissioner deems necessary or appropriate. 1.26 The commissioner may require the records to be submitted by 1.27 certified mail delivery or, if necessary, by personal delivery 1.28 by the employer or a representative of the employer, as 2.1 authorized by the employer in writing. 2.2 The commissioner may fine the employer up to
$200$1,000 2.3 for each failure to submit or deliver records as required by 2.4 this section. This penalty is in addition to any penalties 2.5 provided under section 177.32, subdivision 1. In determining 2.6 the amount of a civil penalty under this subdivision, the 2.7 appropriateness of such penalty to the size of the employer's 2.8 business and the gravity of the violation shall be considered. 2.9 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, 2.10 subdivision 4, is amended to read: 2.11 Subd. 4. [COMPLIANCE ORDERS.] The commissioner may issue 2.12 an order requiring an employer to comply with sections 177.21 to 2.13 177.35, 181.02, 181.03, 181.031, 181.032, 181.101, 181.11, 2.14 181.12, 181.13, 181.14, 181.145, 181.15, and 181.79, or with any 2.15 rule promulgated under section 177.28. The department shall 2.16 serve the order upon the employer or the employer's authorized 2.17 representative in person or by certified mail at the employer's 2.18 place of business. An employer who wishes to contest the order 2.19 must file written notice of objection to the order with the 2.20 commissioner within ten15 calendar days after being served with 2.21 the order. A public hearingcontested case proceeding must then 2.22 be held in accordance with sections 14.57 to 14.69. If, within 2.23 15 calendar days after being served with the order, the employer 2.24 fails to file a written notice of objection with the 2.25 commissioner, the order becomes a final order of the 2.26 commissioner. 2.27 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, is 2.28 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 2.29 Subd. 7. [EMPLOYER LIABILITY.] If an employer is found by 2.30 the commissioner to have violated a section identified in 2.31 subdivision 4, or any rule adopted under section 177.28, and the 2.32 commissioner issues an order to comply, the commissioner shall 2.33 order the employer to cease and desist from engaging in the 2.34 violative practice and to take such affirmative steps that in 2.35 the judgment of the commissioner will effectuate the purposes of 2.36 the section or rule violated. The commissioner shall order the 3.1 employer to pay to the aggrieved parties back pay, gratuities, 3.2 and compensatory damages, less any amount actually paid to the 3.3 employee by the employer, and for an additional equal amount as 3.4 liquidated damages. Any employer who is found by the 3.5 commissioner to have repeatedly or willfully violated a section 3.6 or sections identified in subdivision 4 shall be subject to a 3.7 civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation for each 3.8 employee. In determining the amount of a civil penalty under 3.9 this subdivision, the appropriateness of such penalty to the 3.10 size of the employer's business and the gravity of the violation 3.11 shall be considered. In addition, the commissioner may order 3.12 the employer to reimburse the department and the attorney 3.13 general for all appropriate litigation and hearing costs 3.14 expended in preparation for and in conducting the contested case 3.15 proceeding, unless payment of costs would impose extreme 3.16 financial hardship on the employer. If the employer is able to 3.17 establish extreme financial hardship, then the commissioner may 3.18 order the employer to pay a percentage of the total costs that 3.19 will not cause extreme financial hardship. Costs include but 3.20 are not limited to the costs of services rendered by the 3.21 attorney general, private attorneys if engaged by the 3.22 department, administrative law judges, court reporters, and 3.23 expert witnesses as well as the cost of transcripts. Interest 3.24 shall accrue on, and be added to, the unpaid balance of a 3.25 commissioner's order from the date the order is signed by the 3.26 commissioner until it is paid, at an annual rate provided in 3.27 section 549.09, subdivision 1, paragraph (c). The commissioner 3.28 may establish escrow accounts for purposes of distributing 3.29 damages. 3.30 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, is 3.31 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 3.32 Subd. 8. [COURT ACTIONS; SUITS BROUGHT BY PRIVATE 3.33 PARTIES.] An employee may bring a civil action seeking redress 3.34 for a violation or violations of sections 177.21 to 177.35 3.35 directly to district court. An employer who pays an employee 3.36 less than the wages and overtime compensation to which the 4.1 employee is entitled under sections 177.21 to 177.35 is liable 4.2 to the employee for the full amount of the wages, gratuities, 4.3 and overtime compensation, less any amount the employer is able 4.4 to establish was actually paid to the employee and for an 4.5 additional equal amount as liquidated damages. In addition, in 4.6 an action under this subdivision the employee may seek damages 4.7 and other appropriate relief provided by subdivision 7 and 4.8 otherwise provided by law. An agreement between the employee 4.9 and the employer to work for less than the applicable wage is 4.10 not a defense to the action. 4.11 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, is 4.12 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 4.13 Subd. 9. [DISTRICT COURT JURISDICTION.] Any action brought 4.14 under subdivision 8 may be filed in the district court of the 4.15 county wherein a violation or violations of sections 177.21 to 4.16 177.35 are alleged to have been committed, where the respondent 4.17 resides or has a principal place of business, or any other court 4.18 of competent jurisdiction. The action may be brought by one or 4.19 more employees. 4.20 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, is 4.21 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 4.22 Subd. 10. [ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS.] In any action 4.23 brought pursuant to subdivision 8, the court shall order an 4.24 employer who is found to have committed a violation or 4.25 violations of sections 177.21 to 177.35 to pay to the employee 4.26 or employees reasonable costs, disbursements, witness fees, and 4.27 attorney fees. 4.28 Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.30, is 4.29 amended to read: 4.30 177.30 [KEEPING RECORDS; PENALTY.] 4.31 Every employer subject to sections 177.21 to 177.35 must 4.32 make and keep a record of: 4.33 (1) the name, address, and occupation of each employee; 4.34 (2) the rate of pay, and the amount paid each pay period to 4.35 each employee; 4.36 (3) the hours worked each day and each workweek by the 5.1 employee; and 5.2 (4) other information the commissioner finds necessary and 5.3 appropriate to enforce sections 177.21 to 177.35. The records 5.4 must be kept for three years in or near the premises where an 5.5 employee works. 5.6 The commissioner may fine an employer up to $200$1,000 for 5.7 each failure to maintain records as required by this section. 5.8 This penalty is in addition to any penalties provided under 5.9 section 177.32, subdivision 1. In determining the amount of a 5.10 civil penalty under this subdivision, the appropriateness of 5.11 such penalty to the size of the employer's business and the 5.12 gravity of the violation shall be considered. 5.13 Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 181.02, is 5.14 amended to read: 5.15 181.02 [SALARY OR WAGES NOT TO BE PAID BY NONNEGOTIABLE 5.16 INSTRUMENTS.] 5.17 It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation, 5.18 other than public service corporations, to issue to any employee 5.19 in lieu of or in payment of any salary or wages earned by such 5.20 employee a nonnegotiable time check or order. Any person, firm,5.21 or corporation so issuing a nonnegotiable instrument in lieu of5.22 or in payment of such salary or wages earned shall be guilty of5.23 a misdemeanor.5.24 Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 181.03, is 5.25 amended to read: 5.26 181.03 [CERTAIN ACTS RELATING TO PAYMENT OF WAGES 5.27 UNLAWFUL.] 5.28 AnyA person, firm, corporation, or association who or5.29 whichmay not, directly or indirectly and with intent to 5.30 defraud, causescause any employee to give a receipt for wages 5.31 for a greater amount than that actually paid to the employee for 5.32 services rendered or directly or indirectly demands or receives5.33 demand or receive from any employee any rebate or refund from 5.34 the wages to which the employee is entitled under contract of 5.35 employment with such employer, or in any manner makes or5.36 attemptsmake or attempt to make it appear that the wages paid 6.1 to any employee were greater than the amount actually paid to 6.2 the employee shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. 6.3 Sec. 10. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 181.031, is 6.4 amended to read: 6.5 181.031 [EMPLOYERS NOT TO ACCEPT CONSIDERATION FOR SECURING 6.6 EMPLOYMENT.] 6.7 AnyAn employer, or any manager, superintendent, lead 6.8 supervisor, or other representative of anyan employer, whomay 6.9 not, directly or indirectly, demands or acceptsdemand or accept 6.10 from any employee any part of such employee's wages or other 6.11 consideration, or any gratuity, in consideration of giving to or 6.12 securing, or assisting in securing, for any employee any 6.13 employment with such employer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. 6.14 Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 181.032, is 6.15 amended to read: 6.16 181.032 [REQUIRED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS BY EMPLOYER.] 6.17 At the end of each pay period, the employer shall give each 6.18 employee an earnings statement in writing covering that pay 6.19 period. The earnings statement may be in any form determined by 6.20 the employer but must include: 6.21 (a) the name of the employee; 6.22 (b) the hourly rate of pay (if applicable); 6.23 (c) the total number of hours worked by the employee unless 6.24 exempt from chapter 177; 6.25 (d) the total amount of gross pay earned by the employee 6.26 during that period; 6.27 (e) a list of deductions made from the employee's pay; 6.28 (f) the net amount of pay after all deductions are made; 6.29 and6.30 (g) the date on which the pay period ends; and 6.31 (h) the legal name of the employer and the operating name 6.32 of the employer if different from the legal name. 6.33 An employer, who for the purpose of depriving an employee6.34 of wages to which the employee is entitled and in order to6.35 mislead the employee, furnishes to the employee a statement that6.36 the employer knows to be false is guilty of a misdemeanor.7.1 Sec. 12. [181.171] [COURT ACTIONS; PRIVATE PARTY CIVIL 7.2 ACTIONS.] 7.3 Subdivision 1. [CIVIL ACTION; DAMAGES.] A person may bring 7.4 a civil action seeking redress for violations of sections 7.5 181.02, 181.03, 181.031, 181.032, 181.08, 181.09, 181.10, 7.6 181.101, 181.11, 181.12, 181.13, 181.14, 181.145, and 181.15 7.7 directly to district court. An employer who is found to have 7.8 violated the above sections is liable to the aggrieved party for 7.9 the civil penalties or damages provided for in the section 7.10 violated. An employer who is found to have violated the above 7.11 sections shall also be liable for compensatory damages and other 7.12 appropriate relief including but not limited to injunctive 7.13 relief. 7.14 Subd. 2. [DISTRICT COURT JURISDICTION.] An action brought 7.15 under subdivision 1 may be filed in the district court of the 7.16 county wherein a violation is alleged to have been committed, 7.17 where the respondent resides or has a principal place of 7.18 business, or any other court of competent jurisdiction. 7.19 Subd. 3. [ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS.] In an action brought 7.20 under subdivision 1, the court shall order an employer who is 7.21 found to have committed a violation to pay to the aggrieved 7.22 party reasonable costs, disbursements, witness fees, and 7.23 attorney fees. 7.24 Sec. 13. [REPEALER.] 7.25 Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 177.27, subdivision 6; 7.26 177.33; and 181.17, are repealed.