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                            CHAPTER 386-H.F.No. 2841 
                  An act relating to employment; modifying provisions 
                  regarding minimum wages; increasing penalties; 
                  modifying employer liability provisions; imposing a 
                  penalty; changing inclusions in earnings statement; 
                  amending Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 177.27, 
                  subdivisions 2, 4, and by adding subdivisions; 177.30; 
                  181.02; 181.03; 181.031; and 181.032; proposing coding 
                  for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 181; 
                  repealing Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 177.27, 
                  subdivision 6; 177.33; and 181.17. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [SUBMISSION OF RECORDS; PENALTY.] The 
        commissioner may require the employer of employees working in 
        the state to submit to the commissioner photocopies, certified 
        copies, or, if necessary, the originals of employment records 
        which the commissioner deems necessary or appropriate.  The 
        records which may be required include full and correct 
        statements in writing, including sworn statements by the 
        employer, containing information relating to wages, hours, 
        names, addresses, and any other information pertaining to the 
        employer's employees and the conditions of their employment as 
        the commissioner deems necessary or appropriate.  
           The commissioner may require the records to be submitted by 
        certified mail delivery or, if necessary, by personal delivery 
        by the employer or a representative of the employer, as 
        authorized by the employer in writing.  
           The commissioner may fine the employer up to $200 $1,000 
        for each failure to submit or deliver records as required by 
        this section.  This penalty is in addition to any penalties 
        provided under section 177.32, subdivision 1.  In determining 
        the amount of a civil penalty under this subdivision, the 
        appropriateness of such penalty to the size of the employer's 
        business and the gravity of the violation shall be considered. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, 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 
        177.35, 181.02, 181.03, 181.031, 181.032, 181.101, 181.11, 
        181.12, 181.13, 181.14, 181.145, 181.15, and 181.79, or with any 
        rule promulgated under section 177.28.  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 ten 15 calendar days after being served with 
        the order.  A public hearing 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. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [EMPLOYER LIABILITY.] If an employer is found by 
        the commissioner to have violated a section identified in 
        subdivision 4, or any rule adopted under section 177.28, and the 
        commissioner issues an order to comply, the commissioner shall 
        order the employer to cease and desist from engaging in the 
        violative practice and to take such affirmative steps that in 
        the judgment of the commissioner will effectuate the purposes of 
        the section or rule violated.  The commissioner shall order the 
        employer to pay to the aggrieved parties back pay, gratuities, 
        and compensatory damages, less any amount actually paid to the 
        employee by the employer, and for an additional equal amount as 
        liquidated damages.  Any employer who is found by the 
        commissioner to have repeatedly or willfully violated a section 
        or sections identified in subdivision 4 shall be subject to a 
        civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation for each 
        employee.  In determining the amount of a civil penalty under 
        this subdivision, the appropriateness of such penalty to the 
        size of the employer's business and the gravity of the violation 
        shall be considered.  In addition, the commissioner may order 
        the employer to reimburse the department and the attorney 
        general for all appropriate litigation and hearing costs 
        expended in preparation for and in conducting the contested case 
        proceeding, unless payment of costs would impose extreme 
        financial hardship on the employer.  If the employer is able to 
        establish extreme financial hardship, then the commissioner may 
        order the employer to pay a percentage of the total costs that 
        will not cause extreme financial hardship.  Costs include but 
        are not limited to the costs of services rendered by the 
        attorney general, private attorneys if engaged by the 
        department, administrative law judges, court reporters, and 
        expert witnesses as well as the cost of transcripts.  Interest 
        shall accrue on, and be added to, the unpaid balance of a 
        commissioner's order from the date the order is signed by the 
        commissioner until it is paid, at an annual rate provided in 
        section 549.09, subdivision 1, paragraph (c).  The commissioner 
        may establish escrow accounts for purposes of distributing 
        damages. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [COURT ACTIONS; SUITS BROUGHT BY PRIVATE 
        PARTIES.] An employee may bring a civil action seeking redress 
        for a violation or violations of sections 177.21 to 177.35 
        directly to district court.  An employer who pays an employee 
        less than the wages and overtime compensation to which the 
        employee is entitled under sections 177.21 to 177.35 is liable 
        to the employee for the full amount of the wages, gratuities, 
        and overtime compensation, less any amount the employer is able 
        to establish was actually paid to the employee and for an 
        additional equal amount as liquidated damages.  In addition, in 
        an action under this subdivision the employee may seek damages 
        and other appropriate relief provided by subdivision 7 and 
        otherwise provided by law.  An agreement between the employee 
        and the employer to work for less than the applicable wage is 
        not a defense to the action. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [DISTRICT COURT JURISDICTION.] Any action brought 
        under subdivision 8 may be filed in the district court of the 
        county wherein a violation or violations of sections 177.21 to 
        177.35 are alleged to have been committed, where the respondent 
        resides or has a principal place of business, or any other court 
        of competent jurisdiction.  The action may be brought by one or 
        more employees. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.27, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS.] In any action 
        brought pursuant to subdivision 8, the court shall order an 
        employer who is found to have committed a violation or 
        violations of sections 177.21 to 177.35 to pay to the employee 
        or employees reasonable costs, disbursements, witness fees, and 
        attorney fees. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 177.30, is 
        amended to read: 
           177.30 [KEEPING RECORDS; PENALTY.] 
           Every employer subject to sections 177.21 to 177.35 must 
        make and keep a record of:  
           (1) the name, address, and occupation of each employee; 
           (2) the rate of pay, and the amount paid each pay period to 
        each employee; 
           (3) the hours worked each day and each workweek by the 
        employee; and 
           (4) other information the commissioner finds necessary and 
        appropriate to enforce sections 177.21 to 177.35.  The records 
        must be kept for three years in or near the premises where an 
        employee works.  
           The commissioner may fine an employer up to $200 $1,000 for 
        each failure to maintain records as required by this section.  
        This penalty is in addition to any penalties provided under 
        section 177.32, subdivision 1.  In determining the amount of a 
        civil penalty under this subdivision, the appropriateness of 
        such penalty to the size of the employer's business and the 
        gravity of the violation shall be considered. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 181.02, is 
        amended to read: 
           181.02 [SALARY OR WAGES NOT TO BE PAID BY NONNEGOTIABLE 
        INSTRUMENTS.] 
           It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation, 
        other than public service corporations, to issue to any employee 
        in lieu of or in payment of any salary or wages earned by such 
        employee a nonnegotiable time check or order.  Any person, firm, 
        or corporation so issuing a nonnegotiable instrument in lieu of 
        or in payment of such salary or wages earned shall be guilty of 
        a misdemeanor.  
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 181.03, is 
        amended to read: 
           181.03 [CERTAIN ACTS RELATING TO PAYMENT OF WAGES 
        UNLAWFUL.] 
           Any A person, firm, corporation, or association who or 
        which may not, directly or indirectly and with intent to 
        defraud, causes cause any employee to give a receipt for wages 
        for a greater amount than that actually paid to the employee for 
        services rendered or directly or indirectly demands or receives 
        demand or receive from any employee any rebate or refund from 
        the wages to which the employee is entitled under contract of 
        employment with such employer, or in any manner makes or 
        attempts make or attempt to make it appear that the wages paid 
        to any employee were greater than the amount actually paid to 
        the employee shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.  
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 181.031, is 
        amended to read: 
           181.031 [EMPLOYERS NOT TO ACCEPT CONSIDERATION FOR SECURING 
        EMPLOYMENT.] 
           Any An employer, or any manager, superintendent, lead 
        supervisor, or other representative of any an employer, who may 
        not, directly or indirectly, demands or accepts demand or accept 
        from any employee any part of such employee's wages or other 
        consideration, or any gratuity, in consideration of giving to or 
        securing, or assisting in securing, for any employee any 
        employment with such employer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 181.032, is 
        amended to read: 
           181.032 [REQUIRED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS BY EMPLOYER.] 
           At the end of each pay period, the employer shall give each 
        employee an earnings statement in writing covering that pay 
        period.  The earnings statement may be in any form determined by 
        the employer but must include:  
           (a) the name of the employee; 
           (b) the hourly rate of pay (if applicable); 
           (c) the total number of hours worked by the employee unless 
        exempt from chapter 177; 
           (d) the total amount of gross pay earned by the employee 
        during that period; 
           (e) a list of deductions made from the employee's pay; 
           (f) the net amount of pay after all deductions are made; 
        and 
           (g) the date on which the pay period ends; and 
           (h) the legal name of the employer and the operating name 
        of the employer if different from the legal name. 
           An employer, who for the purpose of depriving an employee 
        of wages to which the employee is entitled and in order to 
        mislead the employee, furnishes to the employee a statement that 
        the employer knows to be false is guilty of a misdemeanor. 
           Sec. 12.  [181.171] [COURT ACTIONS; PRIVATE PARTY CIVIL 
        ACTIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [CIVIL ACTION; DAMAGES.] A person may bring 
        a civil action seeking redress for violations of sections 
        181.02, 181.03, 181.031, 181.032, 181.08, 181.09, 181.10, 
        181.101, 181.11, 181.12, 181.13, 181.14, 181.145, and 181.15 
        directly to district court.  An employer who is found to have 
        violated the above sections is liable to the aggrieved party for 
        the civil penalties or damages provided for in the section 
        violated.  An employer who is found to have violated the above 
        sections shall also be liable for compensatory damages and other 
        appropriate relief including but not limited to injunctive 
        relief. 
           Subd. 2.  [DISTRICT COURT JURISDICTION.] An action brought 
        under subdivision 1 may be filed in the district court of the 
        county wherein a violation is alleged to have been committed, 
        where the respondent resides or has a principal place of 
        business, or any other court of competent jurisdiction. 
           Subd. 3.  [ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS.] In an action brought 
        under subdivision 1, the court shall order an employer who is 
        found to have committed a violation to pay to the aggrieved 
        party reasonable costs, disbursements, witness fees, and 
        attorney fees. 
           Sec. 13.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 177.27, subdivision 6; 
        177.33; and 181.17, are repealed. 
           Presented to the governor March 25, 1996 
           Signed by the governor March 27, 1996, 11:35 a.m.