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HF 4314

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/31/2022 03:46pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to labor and industry; modifying fair labor standards provisions for
agricultural and food processing workers; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020,
sections 177.27, subdivision 4; 179.86, subdivisions 1, 3, by adding subdivisions;
181.14, subdivision 1; 181.635, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6; 181.85, subdivisions 2,
4; 181.86, subdivision 1; 181.87, subdivisions 2, 3, 7; 181.88; 181.89, subdivision
2, by adding a subdivision.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 177.27, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Compliance orders.

The commissioner may issue an order requiring an
employer to comply with sections 177.21 to 177.435, 181.02, 181.03, 181.031, 181.032,
181.101, 181.11, 181.13, 181.14, 181.145, 181.15, 181.172, paragraph (a) or (d), 181.275,
subdivision 2a
, 181.722, 181.79, new text begin181.86 to 181.88, new text endand 181.939 to 181.943, or with any
rule promulgated under section 177.28. The commissioner shall issue an order requiring an
employer to comply with sections 177.41 to 177.435 if the violation is repeated. For purposes
of this subdivision only, a violation is repeated if at any time during the two years that
preceded the date of violation, the commissioner issued an order to the employer for violation
of sections 177.41 to 177.435 and the order is final or the commissioner and the employer
have entered into a settlement agreement that required the employer to pay back wages that
were required by sections 177.41 to 177.435. The department shall serve the order upon the
employer or the employer's authorized representative in person or by certified mail at the
employer's place of business. An employer who wishes to contest the order must file written
notice of objection to the order with the commissioner within 15 calendar days after being
served with the order. A contested case proceeding must then be held in accordance with
sections 14.57 to 14.69. If, within 15 calendar days after being served with the order, the
employer fails to file a written notice of objection with the commissioner, the order becomes
a final order of the commissioner.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 179.86, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Definition.

For the purpose of this section, "employer" means an employer
in the meatpacking new text beginor poultry processing new text endindustry.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 179.86, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Information provided to employee by employer.

(a) new text beginAt the start of
employment,
new text endan employer must provide an explanation in an employee's native language
of the employee's rights and duties as an employee deleted text begineitherdeleted text endnew text begin bothnew text end person to person deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin andnew text end
through written materials that, at a minimum, include:

(1) a complete description of the salary and benefits plans as they relate to the employee;

(2) a job description for the employee's position;

(3) a description of leave policies;

(4) a description of the work hours and work hours policy; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(5) a description of the occupational hazards known to exist for the positiondeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (6) the name of the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier, the carrier's
phone number, and the insurance policy number.
new text end

(b) The explanation must also include information on the following employee rights as
protected by state or federal law and a description of where additional information about
those rights may be obtained:

(1) the right to organize and bargain collectively and refrain from organizing and
bargaining collectively;

(2) the right to a safe workplace; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(3) the right to be free from discriminationdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (4) the right to workers' compensation insurance coverage.
new text end

new text begin (c) The requirements under this subdivision are in addition to the requirements under
section 181.032.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 179.86, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Civil action. new text end

new text begin An employee injured by a violation of this section has a cause of
action for damages for the greater of $1,000 per violation or twice the employee's actual
damages, plus costs and reasonable attorney fees. A damage award shall be the greater of
$1,400 or three times actual damages for an employee injured by an intentional violation
of this section.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 179.86, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Fine. new text end

new text begin The commissioner of labor and industry shall fine an employer not less
than $400 or more than $1,000 for each violation of subdivision 3.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.14, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Prompt payment required.

(a) When any such employee quits or resigns
employment, the wages or commissions earned and unpaid at the time the employee quits
or resigns shall be paid in full not later than the first regularly scheduled payday following
the employee's final day of employment, unless an employee is subject to a collective
bargaining agreement with a different provision. Wages are earned and unpaid if the
employee was not paid for all time worked at the employee's regular rate of pay or at the
rate required by law, including any applicable statute, regulation, rule, ordinance, government
resolution or policy, contract, or other legal authority, whichever rate of pay is greater. If
the first regularly scheduled payday is less than five calendar days following the employee's
final day of employment, full payment may be delayed until the second regularly scheduled
payday but shall not exceed a total of 20 calendar days following the employee's final day
of employment.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a), in the case of migrant workers, as
defined in section 181.85, the wages or commissions earned and unpaid at the time the
employee quits or resigns shall become due and payable within deleted text beginfivedeleted text endnew text begin threenew text end days thereafter.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.635, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.

(a) "Employer" means a person who employs another to perform a service for hire.
Employer includes any agent or attorney of an employer who, for money or other valuable
consideration paid or promised to be paid, performs any recruiting.

(b) "Person" means a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability
partnership, association, individual, or group of persons.

(c) "Recruits" means to induce an individual, directly or through an agent, to relocate
to Minnesota new text beginor within Minnesota new text endto work in food processing by an offer of employmentnew text begin
or of the possibility of employment
new text end.

(d) "Food processing" means canning, packing, or otherwise processing poultry or meat
for consumption.

(e) "Terms and conditions of employment" means the following:

(1) nature of the work to be performed;

(2) wage rate, nature and amount of deductions for tools, clothing, supplies, or other
items;

(3) anticipated hours of work per week, including overtime;

(4) anticipated slowdown or shutdown or if hours of work per week vary more than 25
percent from clause (3);

(5) duration of the work;

(6) workers' compensation coverage and name, address, and telephone number of insurer
and Department of Labor and Industry;

(7) employee benefits available, including any health plans, sick leave, or paid vacation;

(8) transportation and relocation arrangements with allocation of costs between employer
and employee;

(9) availability and description of housing and any costs to employee associated with
housing; and

(10) any other item of value offered, and allocation of costs of item between employer
and employee.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.635, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Recruiting; required disclosure.

new text begin(a) new text endAn employer shall provide written
disclosure of the terms and conditions of employment to a person at the time it recruits the
person to relocate to work in the food processing industry. The disclosure requirement does
not apply to an exempt employee as defined in United States Code, title 29, section 213(a)(1).
The disclosure must be written in English and Spanish, new text beginor another language if the person's
preferred language is not Spanish,
new text enddated and signed by the employer and the person recruited,
and maintained by the employer for deleted text begintwodeleted text endnew text begin threenew text end years. A copy of the signed and completed
disclosure must be delivered immediately to the recruited person. The disclosure may not
be construed as an employment contract.

new text begin (b) The requirements under this subdivision are in addition to the requirements under
section 181.032.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.635, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Civil action.

A person injured by a violation of this section has a cause of action
for damages for the greater of deleted text begin$500deleted text endnew text begin $1,000new text end per violation or twice their actual damages, plus
costs and reasonable attorney's fees. A damage award shall be the greater of deleted text begin$750deleted text endnew text begin $1,400new text end
or three times actual damages for a person injured by an intentional violation of this section.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.635, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Fine.

The Department of Labor and Industry shall fine an employer not less
than deleted text begin$200deleted text endnew text begin $400new text end or more than deleted text begin$500deleted text endnew text begin $1,000new text end for each violation of this section.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.635, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Standard disclosure form.

The Department of Labor and Industry shall provide
a standard form for use at the employer's option in making the disclosure required in
subdivision 2. The form shall be available in English and Spanishnew text begin and additional languages
upon request
new text end.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.85, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Agricultural labor.

"Agricultural labor" means field labor associated with the
cultivation and harvest of fruits and vegetables and work performed in processing fruits and
vegetables for marketnew text begin, as well as labor performed in agriculture as defined in Minnesota
Rules, part 5200.0260
new text end.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.85, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Employer.

"Employer" means deleted text begina processor of fruits or vegetablesdeleted text endnew text begin an individual,
partnership, association, corporation, business trust, or any person or group of persons
new text end that
employs, either directly or indirectly through a recruiter, deleted text beginmore than 30deleted text end migrant workers deleted text beginper
day for more than seven days in any calendar year
deleted text end.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.86, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Terms.

new text begin(a) new text endAn employer that recruits a migrant worker shall provide the
migrant worker, at the time the worker is recruited, with a written employment statement
which shall state clearly and plainly, in English and Spanishnew text begin, or another language if the
worker's preferred language is not Spanish
new text end:

(1) the date on which and the place at which the statement was completed and provided
to the migrant worker;

(2) the name and permanent address of the migrant worker, of the employer, and of the
recruiter who recruited the migrant worker;

(3) the date on which the migrant worker is to arrive at the place of employment, the
date on which employment is to begin, the approximate hours of employment, and the
minimum period of employment;

(4) the crops and the operations on which the migrant worker will be employed;

(5) the wage rates to be paid;

(6) the payment terms, as provided in section 181.87;

(7) any deduction to be made from wages; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(8) whether housing will be provideddeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (9) the name of the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier, the carrier's
phone number, and the insurance policy number.
new text end

new text begin (b) The requirements under this subdivision are in addition to the requirements under
section 181.032.
new text end

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.87, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Biweekly pay.

The employer shall pay wages due to the migrant worker at
least every two weeks, except on termination, when the employer shall pay within three
daysnew text begin unless payment is required sooner pursuant to section 181.13new text end.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.87, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Guaranteed hours.

The employer shall guarantee to each recruited migrant
worker a minimum of 70 hours pay for work in any two successive weeks and, should the
pay for hours actually offered by the employer and worked by the migrant worker provide
a sum of pay less than the minimum guarantee, the employer shall pay the migrant worker
the difference within three days after the scheduled payday for the pay period involved.
Payment for the guaranteed hours shall be at the hourly wage rate, if any, specified in the
employment statement, or the federal new text beginor state new text endminimum wage, whichever is deleted text beginhigherdeleted text endnew text begin highestnew text end.
Any pay in addition to the hourly wage rate specified in the employment statement shall be
applied against the guarantee. This guarantee applies for the minimum period of employment
specified in the employment statement beginning with the date on which employment is to
begin as specified in the employment statement. The date on which employment is to begin
may be changed by the employer by written, telephonic, or telegraphic notice to the migrant
worker, at the worker's last known address, no later than ten days prior to the previously
stated beginning date. The migrant worker shall contact the recruiter to obtain the latest
information regarding the date upon which employment is to begin no later than five days
prior to the previously stated beginning date. This guarantee shall be reduced, when there
is no work available for a period of seven or more consecutive days during any two-week
period subsequent to the commencement of work, by five hours pay for each such day,
when the unavailability of work is caused by climatic conditions or an act of God, provided
that the employer pays the migrant worker, on the normal payday, the sum of deleted text begin$5deleted text endnew text begin $16new text end for
each such day.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.87, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Statement itemizing deductions from wages.

The employer shall provide a
written statement at the time wages are paid clearly itemizing each deduction from wages.new text begin
The written statement shall also comply with all other requirements for an earnings statement
in section 181.032.
new text end

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.88, is amended to read:


181.88 RECORD KEEPING.

Every employer subject to the provisions of sections 181.85 to 181.90 shall maintain
complete and accurate records deleted text beginof the names of, the daily hours worked by, the rate of pay
for and the wages paid each pay period to
deleted text endnew text begin fornew text end every individual migrant worker recruited by
that employerdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin as required by section 177.30new text end and shall deleted text beginpreserve the recordsdeleted text endnew text begin also maintain
the employment statements required under section 181.86
new text end for a period of at least three years.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.89, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Judgment; damages.

If the court finds that any defendant has violated the
provisions of sections 181.86 to 181.88, the court shall enter judgment for the actual damages
incurred by the plaintiff or the appropriate penalty as provided by this subdivision, whichever
is greater. The court may also award court costs and a reasonable attorney's fee. The penalties
shall be as follows:

(1) whenever the court finds that an employer has violated the record-keeping
requirements of section 181.88, deleted text begin$50deleted text endnew text begin $200new text end;

(2) whenever the court finds that an employer has recruited a migrant worker without
providing a written employment statement as provided in section 181.86, subdivision 1,
deleted text begin $250deleted text endnew text begin $800new text end;

(3) whenever the court finds that an employer has recruited a migrant worker after having
provided a written employment statement, but finds that the employment statement fails to
comply with the requirement of section 181.86, subdivision 1 or section 181.87, deleted text begin$250deleted text endnew text begin $800new text end;

(4) whenever the court finds that an employer has failed to comply with the terms of an
employment statement which the employer has provided to a migrant worker or has failed
to comply with any payment term required by section 181.87, deleted text begin$500deleted text endnew text begin $1,600new text end;

(5) whenever the court finds that an employer has failed to pay wages to a migrant worker
within a time period set forth in section 181.87, subdivision 2 or 3, deleted text begin$500deleted text endnew text begin $1,600new text end; and

(6) whenever penalties are awarded, they shall be awarded severally in favor of each
migrant worker plaintiff and against each defendant found liable.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 181.89, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Enforcement. new text end

new text begin In addition to any other remedies available, the commissioner
may assess the penalties in subdivision 2 and provide the penalty to the migrant worker
aggrieved by the employer's noncompliance.
new text end