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Labor Standards -- Frequently asked questions about employee rights

  1. You must receive at least the minimum wage per hour for all hours your employer Frequently asked questions graphicrequires you to work, including preparation time, on-the-job training, opening and closing times, and required meetings. If your employer is not paying the minimum wage or overtime, you can file a claim with the Department of Labor and Industry, Labor Standards unit. Labor Standards will review your complaint to determine what action would be appropriate and inform you of its decision. (See Minnesota Statutes 177.24, 177.25 and Minnesota Rules 5200.0120.)

  2. Your employer may not deduct from your wages for breakages, cash shortages, tools or uniforms. Some exceptions to this rule are allowed, contact Labor Standards for more information (contact information is below). (See Minnesota Statutes 181.79 and 177.24, subdivisions 4 and 5.)

  3. Each time you are paid, you must receive a statement listing all deductions, such as taxes, from your earnings (see Minnesota Statutes 181.032). The earnings statement should also include:

    • the employee's name;

    • the hourly rate of pay (if applicable);

    • the number of hours worked in the pay period;

    • the total gross earnings for the pay period;

    • the total net earnings after all deductions are made;

    • the date the pay period ends; and

    • the legal name of the employer.

  4. Keep accurate records of the hours you worked. If there's a difference between your record and the employer's, review your records together.

  5. Rest breaks are not required; however, you must be allowed time to use the nearest restroom once every four consecutive hours worked (see Minnesota Statutes 177.253).

  6. If you work eight or more consecutive hours, you must be allowed sufficient time to eat a meal (see Minnesota Statutes 177.254).

  7. Your employer must pay one-and-one-half times your regular rate of pay for overtime hours worked. Review the overtime information to learn if your employer is covered by state or federal law. (See Minnesota Statutes 177.25.)

  8. Minors (those under 18 years of age) are prohibited from working certain jobs and certain hours. Review the minimum age information for details. (See Minnesota Statutes 181.04, and Minnesota Rules 5200.0910 and 5200.0920.)

  9. You have the right to a safe workplace. If you believe safety or health hazards exist at your worksite, contact Minnesota OSHA via email or call (651) 284-5050 or 1-877-470-6742.

  10. If you are injured on the job, immediately inform your employer. The employer has an obligation to provide you with workers' compensation benefits. Call (651) 284-5005 or 1-800-342-5354 for more information.

  11. Your employer must provide a work environment free from racial, sexual and religious harassment. Report violations to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights by calling (651) 296-5663.

  12. If your employment ends or your work hours are reduced, you may apply for unemployment benefits online or by using the automated phone option at (651) 296-3644, in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, or at
    1-877-898-9090, in Greater Minnesota. You may choose English, Hmong, Somali or Spanish.

For more information

If you don't see your question answered here or want more information about any of these subjects, contact the Department of Labor and Industry, Labor Standards unit, at dli.laborstandards@state.mn.us, (651) 284-5070 or
1-800-DIAL-DLI (1-800-342-5354).

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