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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1816

2nd Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/18/2019 02:09pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to employment; requiring written demand for payment to employer;
prohibiting wage theft; establishing a "wage theft free" workplace recognition
program; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections
177.27, subdivision 1; 177.32, subdivision 1; 181.03, subdivision 1, by adding
subdivisions; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 177.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 177.27, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Examination of records.

The commissioner may enter during reasonable
office hours or upon request and inspect the place of business or employment of any employer
of employees working in the state, to examine and inspect books, registers, payrolls, and
other records of any employer that in any way relate to wages, hours, and other conditions
of employment of any employees. The commissioner may transcribe any or all of the books,
registers, payrolls, and other records as the commissioner deems necessary or appropriate
and may question the employees to ascertain compliance with sections 177.21 to 177.435.
The commissioner may investigate wage claims or complaints by an employee against an
employer ifnew text begin: (1)new text end the failure to pay a wage may violate Minnesota law or an order or rule of
the departmentnew text begin; and (2) the employee making the wage claim or complaint has provided a
written demand for payment to the employer at least ten days prior to the commissioner
initiating an investigation
new text end.

Sec. 2.

new text begin [177.271] LABOR TRAFFICKING AND WAGE THEFT FREE
WORKPLACE RECOGNITION PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Program established. new text end

new text begin A program recognizing an employer's pledge and
efforts to maintain a "labor trafficking and wage theft free" workplace is established within
the Department of Labor and Industry.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For the purposes of this section, the terms defined have the
meanings given them.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Wage theft" has the meaning given in section 181.03, subdivision 1.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Labor trafficking" has the meaning given in section 609.281, subdivision 5.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Eligibility. new text end

new text begin To be eligible for participation in the "labor trafficking and wage
theft free" recognition program an employer must:
new text end

new text begin (1) submit an application to the commissioner on a form prescribed by the commissioner;
and
new text end

new text begin (2) not have been found to be in violation of any of the provisions of sections 177.21 to
177.35 or sections 181.01 to 181.172 within the preceding three years.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Conditions of recognition. new text end

new text begin (a) An employer requesting to participate in the
recognition program under this section must agree to:
new text end

new text begin (1) provide information to employees regarding wage and hour requirements, including
but not limited to, information on what is and is not considered work time, the details of
rest breaks and meal times, and overtime pay rules;
new text end

new text begin (2) offer training to employees on how to recognize labor trafficking in the workplace;
and
new text end

new text begin (3) allow reasonable inspection and submission of records as provided under section
177.27.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner must consider favorably an employer's recognition as a "labor
trafficking and wage theft free" workplace when conducting wage and hour investigations
and issuing any penalties for violations of sections 177.21 to 177.35 or sections 181.01 to
181.172.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Recognition certificate. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall issue a recognition
certificate or notice of denial within 15 days of the application submission by an employer.
A recognition certificate shall be valid for a period of five years.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner shall maintain a list of employers that have obtained recognition
as a "labor trafficking and wage theft free" workplace on the department's website. An
employer having obtained a recognition certificate must display the certificate at the
employer's principal place of business and may include information indicating recognition
on their business website and other promotional materials.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Revocation of certificate. new text end

new text begin Recognition certificates may be suspended or revoked
by the commissioner if a holder of a certificate has not made a good faith effort to implement
the conditions listed under subdivision 4 or if the holder is found to be in violation of sections
177.21 to 177.35 or sections 181.01 to 181.172.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 177.32, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Misdemeanors.

new text begin(a) new text endAn employer who does any of the following is guilty
of a misdemeanor:

(1) hinders or delays the commissioner in the performance of duties required under
sections 177.21 to 177.435new text begin, or sections 181.01 to 181.72new text end;

(2) refuses to admit the commissioner to the place of business or employment of the
employer, as required by section 177.27, subdivision 1;

(3) repeatedly fails to make, keep, and preserve records as required by section 177.30;

(4) falsifies any record;

(5) refuses to make any record available, or to furnish a sworn statement of the record
or any other information as required by section 177.27;

(6) repeatedly fails to post a summary of sections 177.21 to 177.44 or a copy or summary
of the applicable rules as required by section 177.31;

(7) pays or agrees to pay wages at a rate less than the rate required under sections 177.21
to 177.44;

(8) refuses to allow adequate time from work as required by section 177.253; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(9) otherwise violates any provision of sections 177.21 to 177.44new text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (10) commits wage theft as described in section 181.03, subdivision 1new text end.

new text begin (b) An employer who violates paragraph (a), clause (10), after having been previously
convicted of violating that clause is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
new text end

new text begin (c) Nothing in paragraph (a), clause (10), or paragraph (b), or section 609.035 or 609.04
shall limit the power of the state to prosecute or punish a person for conduct that constitutes
any other crime under any other law of this state.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2019, and applies to crimes
committed on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 181.03, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Prohibited practices.

deleted text begin An employer may not, directly or indirectly and
with intent to defraud:
deleted text end

new text begin (a) No employer shall commit wage theft.
new text end

new text begin (b) For purposes of this section, wage theft is committed if an employer, with intent to
defraud:
new text end

new text begin (1) fails to pay an employee all wages to which that employee is entitled;
new text end

deleted text begin (1) causedeleted text endnew text begin (2) directly or indirectly causesnew text end any employee to give a receipt for wages for
a greater amount than that actually paid to the employee for services rendered;

deleted text begin (2)deleted text endnew text begin (3)new text end directly or indirectly deleted text begindemanddeleted text endnew text begin demandsnew text end or deleted text beginreceivedeleted text endnew text begin receivesnew text end from any employee
any rebate or refund from the wages owed the employee under contract of employment with
the employer; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3) in any manner makedeleted text endnew text begin (4) makesnew text end or deleted text beginattemptdeleted text endnew text begin attemptsnew text end to make it appear new text beginin any manner
new text end that the wages paid to any employee were greater than the amount actually paid to the
employeedeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (5) retaliates against an employee for asserting rights or remedies under this section,
including but not limited to filing a complaint with the Department of Labor and Industry,
telling the employer of intention to file a complaint, or making a written demand for payment
to the employer as provided under section 177.27, subdivision 1.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 181.03, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Enforcement. new text end

new text begin The commissioner may enforce this section. The use of an
enforcement provision in this section shall not preclude the use of any other enforcement
provision provided by law.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 181.03, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Effect on other laws. new text end

new text begin Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the
application of other state or federal laws.
new text end

Sec. 7. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $....... in fiscal year 2020 and $....... in fiscal year 2021 are appropriated from the general
fund to the commissioner of labor and industry to address wage theft. The commissioner
must use at least ... percent of the amounts appropriated for grants to community-based
groups for the purpose of outreach, education, and technical assistance for employees and
employers.
new text end

Sec. 8. new text beginAPPROPRIATION; LABOR TRAFFICKING GRANT.
new text end

new text begin (a) $350,000 in fiscal year 2020 and $350,000 in fiscal year 2021 are appropriated from
the general fund to the commissioner of labor and industry to develop an open and
competitive grant process in consultation with the Office of Justice Programs in the
Department of Public Safety, law enforcement organizations, and the Minnesota County
Attorneys Association to award a grant to a nonprofit organization identifying and serving
victims of labor trafficking to: (1) develop a statewide model protocol for law enforcement,
prosecutors, and other persons who in their professional capacity encounter labor trafficking
to identify and intervene with victims of labor trafficking; (2) conduct statewide training
for law enforcement and prosecutors including, at a minimum, methods under Minnesota
Statutes, section 299A.79, subdivision 2; and (3) develop and disseminate investigative best
practices to identify victims of labor trafficking and traffickers to law enforcement,
prosecutors, and other persons who in their professional capacity encounter labor trafficking.
The grant recipient may use the money appropriated in this paragraph to partner with other
entities to implement clauses (1) to (3).
new text end

new text begin (b) By January 15, 2021, the grant recipient shall report to the chairs and ranking minority
members of the senate and house of representatives committees and divisions with jurisdiction
over criminal justice and labor and industry policy and funding on the grant process and
how the grant money was spent and details and results of the implementation of paragraph
(a), clauses (1) to (3). This appropriation is onetime and is available until spent.
new text end