Minnesota Labor Laws 2024 | Wage and Hour Laws in Minnesota

Minnesota Labor Laws

Minnesota labor laws, including Minnesota labor laws 2024, impact the daily lives of employees and employers in Minnesota. Residents of Minnesota have many questions that affect them every day regarding Minnesota labor laws from minimum wage rates, overtime, wage payments, vacation and sick leave, child labor, meal and rest breaks, and more.

In addition to Minnesota labor laws, employer must also comply with federal labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and many other federal laws. And when federal laws are different from state Minnesota labor laws, usually companies must comply with the law that provides their workers the best protection.

Below we provide comprehensive information and resources regarding your more pressing Minnesota labor law questions to help you answer the question and help you make the right decision about you and your employment.

Minimum Wage

Minnesota’s current state minimum wage is $10.33 for large employers whose gross annual sales or business is $500,000 or more. The rate is $8.42 for small employers whose gross annual sales or business is less than $500,000.

Under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, the minimum wage in Minnesota is increased every year based on the cost of living index. The minimum wage for people under 17 years old is $8.42 per hour. The minimum wage does not have a lower standard for workers who regularly receive tips. Tipped workers in Minnesota must also receive the legal minimum wage.

For more information on Minnesota’s minimum wage laws, visit our Minnesota Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.

Related topic covered on other pages include:


Minnesota labor laws require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of one and one-half times (1½ times) their regular rate of pay when they work more than 48 hours in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt. MN Overtime Facts. Federal law, under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), requires employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of 1½ times their regular rates of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt.

Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Minnesota may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates.

Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Minnesota Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

Meals and Breaks

Minnesota labor laws require employer to provide employees restroom time and sufficient time to eat a meal. The meal time requirement applies to employees who work eight (8) or more consecutive hours. If the break is less than twenty (20) minutes in duration, it must be paid. Time to use the nearest restroom must be provided within each four (4) consecutive hours of work. Minn. Statutes 177.253 and 177.254.

Nursing Mother Breaks

Minnesota labor laws required employers to allow employees who are nursing mothers to take reasonable break time to express breast milk unless doing so would unduly disrupt the operations of the employee. Employers are not required to pay employees for nursing mother breaks but must, if possible, allow employees to express breast milk at the same time they have already provided breaks including paid breaks.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide employees who are nursing mothers with a private room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, with an electrical outlet that shields them from view and is free from intrusion from coworkers and the public. MN Statute 181.393

Vacation Leave

Under Minnesota employment laws, an employer is not required to provide their employees with vacation benefits, whether unpaid or paid. However, if an employer offers such benefits for their employees, they must comply with the conditions established in the employment contract or vacation leave policy. 

An employer in Minnesota may lawfully create a contract that denies employees payment for accrued vacation hours upon separation from employment or end of the contract. There may also be conditions that may disqualify employees from receiving payment for accrued vacation hours at the end of the contract. 

However, an employer must pay an employee upon separation from the employment if the contract states it. An employer in Minnesota may also cap the amount of vacation time an employee can accrue over a specific time and is also allowed to implement a use-it or lose-it policy.

Information about Minnesota vacation leave laws may now be found on our Minnesota Leave Laws page.

Sick Leave

Beginning on January 1, 2024, Minnesota labor laws require employers to provide paid sick and safe leave to employees who work in the state. Employees are eligible for paid sick leave or safe leave if they work in Minnesota at least 80 hours in a year for an employer in the state and is not an independent contractor.

Eligible employees may use sick or safe leave for:

  • the employee’s mental or physical illness, treatment or preventive care;   
  • a family member’s mental or physical illness, treatment or preventive care;
  • absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of the employee or a family member;
  • closure of the employee’s workplace due to weather or public emergency or closure of a family member’s school or care facility due to weather or public emergency; and
  • when determined by a health authority or health care professional that the employee or a family member is at risk of infecting others with a communicable disease.

For purposes of the Minnesota sick and safe law, family members include:

  • their child, including foster child, adult child, legal ward, child for whom the employee is legal guardian or child to whom the employee stands or stood in loco parentis (in place of a parent);
  • their spouse or registered domestic partner;
  • their sibling, stepsibling or foster sibling;
  • their biological, adoptive or foster parent, stepparent or a person who stood in loco parentis (in place of a parent) when the employee was a minor child;
  • their grandchild, foster grandchild or step-grandchild;
  • their grandparent or step-grandparent;
  • a child of a sibling of the employee;
  • a sibling of the parents of the employee;
  • a child-in-law or sibling-in-law;
  • any of the family members listed in 1 through 9 above of an employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner;
  • any other individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship; and
  • up to one individual annually designated by the employee.

Moreover, an employer might be obligated to give their workers unpaid leave according to federal laws and the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for themselves or a family members with serious health conditions. There is also Minnesota’s Parental Leave Act that must be followed. Additional, beginning January 1, 2026, employees will be eligible for paid family and medial leave under Minnesota’s medical leave program.

Information about Minnesota sick leave laws may now be found on our Minnesota Leave Laws page.

Pregnancy and Parental Leave

Minnesota labor laws requires employers to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child. Employers are required to provide pregnancy and parental leave benefits regardless of the number of employees they have. Employers may require employees to provide prior notice of when they will need to take the pregnancy and parental leave unless doing so is not possible. If an employee is eligible for federal FMLA, they must take FMLA and pregnancy and parental leave at the same time.

Holiday Leave

Employers in Minnesota are not required to provide their employees with unpaid or paid holiday leave. Moreover, a private employer may require employees to work on holidays. 

The law says a private employer is not required to pay their employees additional compensation, such as 1.5 times the standard salary, for working during holiday hours. However, if working during holiday hours produces more than 40 hours of work per week, the employee is eligible for overtime pay as stated by federal overtime regulations. 

If a business gives employees unpaid or paid holiday leave, they must comply with all terms and conditions established in the employment contract or holiday leave policy. There are also Minnesota state holidays that are observed.

Information about Minnesota holiday leave laws may now be found on our Minnesota Leave Laws page.

Jury Duty Leave

A business must allow employees to take time off for jury duty, as the law requires. However, the business is not obligated to pay wages for the time spent in court. An employer is also not allowed to penalize, coerce, threaten, or discharge an employee for complying with a jury duty summons.

Information about Minnesota jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Minnesota Leave Laws page.

Voting Leave

Minnesota has very strict laws that state that employers must allow all employees to take paid time off as is needed to vote in an election. This is non-negotiable.

Information about Minnesota voting leave laws may now be found on our Minnesota Leave Laws page.

Severance Pay

Minnesota labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


To qualify for unemployment benefits in Minnesota, the base period is looked at, which are the four most recently completed calendar quarters. The employee’s wages must be at least 5.3% of the current statewide average annual average during this base period. Moreover, to qualify for benefits, the employee must be out of work through no fault of their own, actively seeking employment, and able, willing, and ready to work.

Under certain circumstances, Minnesota residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Minnesota State Unemployment Benefits.

Other Minnesota Labor Laws Topics and Resources

There are several other Minnesota labor laws governing the employers and their workplaces. Below are those topics and resources:

  • Minnesota child labor laws for children 17 years of age and younger including topics including work during school hours and summer hours, school days and non-school days, summer days of employment (usually June 1 to Labor Day), hour restrictions, work permits, and hazardous occupations.
  • The Minnesota Department of Human Rights protects employees workplace civil rights and against discrimination and retaliation. Employees are also protected by federal discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state and federal discrimination laws offer employees protections and violations based on the following:
Disability (a mental or physical impairment)Sex, including sexual harassmentGender expressionNational Origin
RaceSexual orientationReligionAncestry
CreedGender identityAge (40+)Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions
ColorGenetic informationMarital statusFamilial Status

Other State’s Labor Law and Wage and Hour Information

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