When you plan to hire employees to work in Minnesota, your employee handbook needs to comply with federal and Minnesota law. Employers are not required to create and distribute employee handbooks, but they are required to implement and comply with a variety of policies in the workplace. Employee handbooks are a good resource because they allow employers to easily document the required policies and show that they have complied with applicable law.

If you hire employees in more than one state, however, researching and drafting state-specific employment laws is time-consuming and expensive. If proper drafting wasn’t already, it has become incredibly important in light of the NLRB’s recent decision in Stericycle, Inc. and Teamsters Local 628. In that decision, the NLRB made it clear that any work rule or policy instituted by employers must advance a legitimate business interest and not infringe on employee rights under Section 7 of the NLRA.

SixFifty has created an employment documents platform to help ensure compliance, save money and quickly draft custom handbooks for all 50 states. Here’s what you need to know about creating your own Minnesota employee handbook.

Required Minnesota employee handbook policies

Minnesota requires the following state-specific employee handbook policies:

  • Bone Marrow Donor Leave (companies with 20 or more employees)
  • Civil Air Patrol Leave (companies with 20 or more employees)
  • Crime Victim Leave
  • Domestic Violence Leave
  • Election Judge Leave
  • Jury Duty Leave 
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Meal and Rest Breaks
  • Military Death/Injury Leave
  • Minimum Wage Rights and Wage Disclosure Protection (Protected Activity Policy)
  • Paid Sick Leave (for Duluth (companies with five or more employees), Minneapolis, and St. Paul)
  • Political Activity Leave
  • Pregnancy and Parental Leave (companies with 21 or more employees)
  • School Activity Leave
  • Voting Leave
  • Whistleblower Policy
  • Witness Duty Leave

Note that several of the policies only apply to companies who meet a certain employee number threshold. Others, like paid sick leave, are limited to specific cities. When you draft your employee handbook, pay careful attention to these laws. 

Optional Minnesota employee handbook policies

In addition to the required policies above, Minnesota employers are welcome to include any of the following optional policies:

  • Affinity Group Policy
  • Arbitration Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Background Check Policy
  • Business Expense Policy
  • Company Property Policy
  • Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
  • Desk Hoteling Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Dress Code Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
  • Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Employee Classification Policy
  • Employee Dating Policy
  • Employee References Policy
  • Employment of Relatives Policy
  • Exit Interview Policy
  • Gifts Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Holidays
  • Immigration Law Compliance
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Marijuana Policy
  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Off-Duty Use of Facilities
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Performance Review Policy
  • Personnel Files Policy
  • Pets in the Workplace Policy
  • Progressive Discipline Policy
  • Public Relations Policy 
  • Punctuality and Attendance Policy
  • Salary Pay Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
  • Technology Systems Policy 
  • Telecommuting Policy
  • Temporary Relocation Policy 
  • Timekeeping Policy Overtime Policy
  • Video Conferencing Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy
  • Workplace Visitor Policy
  • Workweek and Work Schedules Policy 

Depending on your specific industry, company and employment type, and other considerations, not all of these policies will be appropriate.

Required federal employee handbook policies

Every employee handbook must include the following federal policies:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Military Service Leave
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Religious Accommodation Policy

Employers in all 50 states are required to implement these policies, in addition to the required state policies where they do business. Therefore, all of your employee handbooks should contain these federal policies (if your organization meets the 50-employee requirement for the FMLA Policy). Note that Minnesota’s pregnancy and parental leave policy has a lower threshold than FMLA protections, so you’ll need to ensure that your company policies comply with these overlapping state and federal laws.

How to create a Minnesota employee handbook

Researching and drafting your own state-specific employee handbooks can be a tough task. Even if you’re only including the required state and federal policies, it’s risky. If your written policies violate federal or Minnesota state employment laws, it could leave your company open to liability.

Organizations have a few options. First, you could hire an attorney to draft a handbook for you. This helps ensure compliance, but if you’re creating more than one state-specific employee handbook, billable hours add up fast.

Some companies use one-size-fits-all online templates. This is typically inexpensive but potentially problematic: there’s no guarantee the language will be compliant in each state, nor that you’ll have all the required state employment policies.

SixFifty understands—and we’ve created a better option. Our employee handbook creator platform is designed to help employers through every stage of the employment life cycle, starting with offer letters all the way through separation, termination, and offboarding. Employment Docs makes it easier and more affordable to create top-tier employment documents. Best of all, our legal team keeps an eye on the changes to employment law nationwide. If there’s any new legislation, we’ll notify you so you can regenerate your handbooks and ensure they meet all Minnesota employee handbook requirements.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!

Looking to create an employee handbook for a different state? View our interactive map for required employee handbook policies by state.