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End of Year Reminders for Business Owners
Written by David Klink on December 20th, 2023

Entity Renewal.  The deadline to renew your Minnesota business entities (such as LLCs, corporations, partnerships, or assumed names) with the Minnesota Secretary of State is December 31.  There is an option to renew on the secretary of state website after you find your entity on their search tool.  If you would like assistance with renewal, please contact Bridge Law Group.

Beneficial Owners Reporting.  Starting in 2024, business entities will need to report beneficial ownership information (the identity of the entity’s equity owner) to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FinCEN is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  For existing businesses, the deadline to report is not until the end of 2024.  There will be a free filing which companies can either complete themselves or engage their attorney to complete for them.  Reports are not being accepted until January 1, 2024, and there are still some open questions regarding what the FinCEN report process will entail, so there is nothing to do on this until the new year.  For more information, visit FinCEN's website

Employment Law Changes.  2023 was a big year for employment law changes in Minnesota, most of which went into effect during 2023, though with one big one becoming effective on January 1, 2024, and another in 2026.  This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but here are some major highlights which are already, or soon will be, impacting many business owners:

o   Earned Sick & Safe Leave.  Commencing on January 1, 2024, all employers must provide at least one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year.  The law applies to all employees who work more than 80 hours per year. There are several options for how accrual and carry over of hours can work, one of which requires that you pay employees for unused hours at the end of each year. There are also specific rules regarding what the hours can be used for and when employers can require documentation. PTO policies can meet this requirement so long as they meet the minimum requirements of the statute.  More information regarding the options and requirements is available from the Department of Labor and Industry.  Note that there is also a required poster for the employee break room and notices must be included in employee handbooks if you have one.  Bridge Law Group can help interpret this requirement, discuss how it may interact with your existing employment practices, and help you update your handbook if needed. 

o   Non-competes outlawed. With few exceptions, the Minnesota legislature outlawed most non-competes entered into on or after July 1, 2023.  If you are still putting non-competes in your employment agreement, please reach out to Bridge Law Group ASAP to update those forms!  Thankfully, there is an exception for business owners selling a business.  Employment agreements can still include non-solicitation provisions for customers and employees and provisions protecting company confidential information. 

o   Pregnant and Nursing Workers.  Protections for pregnant and nursing workers have been further expanded.  Workers must be given reasonable breaks to express milk for an infant child.  While breaks may run concurrently with planned break times already provided, employees are not required to use pre-existing break times to express milk.  Employers can no longer deny employees breaks if the breaks would “unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.”  The law changes also provide more protections for pregnant employees in terms of reasonable accommodations, leaves of absences, and discrimination protections.    This is also another issue where there is a required breakroom poster and notices must be included in the handbook if you have one. 

o   Wage Disclosure Protections.  Employers can’t consider or require applicants to disclose their pay history, nor can they discriminate or retaliate against employees who assert their rights to keep their pay history confidential. 

o   CROWN Act – except where there are legitimate (and consistently enforced) safety concerns, employers may not prevent individuals from wearing natural hairstyles or discriminate against those with natural hairstyles.

o   Cannabis Updates.  Employers are no longer allowed to use cannabis testing as a basis for hiring decisions.  The lawful use of cannabis products (i.e., outside of work hours and off the premises) is not a permissible reason to discipline an employee.  Employers are still permitted to prohibit use, transfer, impairment, or sale of cannabis during work hours, on the work premises, or when operating the employer’s machinery, vehicles or equipment.  Employers are permitted to test employees if they have reasonable suspicion the employee is presently under the influence, is using, selling, or transferring cannabis products at work, or has suffered or caused an injury in a work-related accident.  However, as a practical matter, cannabis testing has not traditionally been as advanced as alcohol testing, and cannabis products remain in the system for weeks after consumption.  More advanced testing tools are in development, but until employers have access to more advanced testing tools, employers must be careful how they interpret the results of cannabis testing as to not make a disciplinary decision based on a test which is not specific enough to distinguish between lawful and unlawful cannabis use and whether or not the employee is impaired. 

o   Captive Audience Meetings.  Employers can’t require employees to attend meetings where the purpose is to communicate the opinion of the employer on religious or political matters.  Political matters include matters relating to electing politicians, supporting political parties, supporting proposals to change legislation, regulations, or public policies, and the decision to join a political party or any sort of political, civic, community, fraternal, or labor organizations.  Religious matters include matters relating to religious belief, affiliation, and practice and the decision to join any religious organization.  This is another area where there is a required employer notice to post in the break room. 

o   Paid Family & Medical Leave.  This one isn’t effective until 2026, so stay tuned for more updates in the coming years.  All Minnesota employers will be required to provide employees with paid family and medical leave for up to 12 weeks with partial wage replacement related to a serious health condition, pregnancy, bonding, safety leave, family care or active-duty military service.  There will be a 0.7% payroll tax paid by employees and employers to fund a program for this benefit to be paid.  Worker’s comp benefits can theoretically cover this requirement if the benefits meet the statutory minimums.  Employers will be able to apply for exemptions if their private benefits meet or exceed the statutory requirements. 


This is advertising material. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it form a lawyer-client relationship with the recipient.  The information contained herein is based on authorities that are subject to change and is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind. Bridge Law Group, Ltd., does not assume any liability for any errors, omissions or damages resulting from the use of the information. This document may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without the written permission of Bridge Law Group, Ltd.