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    Minnesota Frontline Worker Pay Program: What We Know So Far

    On April 29, 2022, Gov. Tim Walz signed Frontline Worker Payments into law, enabling certain Minnesotans who worked on the frontlines during the…

    Minnesota Frontline Worker Pay Program: What We Know So Far

    Fredrikson & Byron PA

    USA May 16 2022

    On April 29, 2022, Gov. Tim Walz signed Frontline Worker Payments into law, enabling certain Minnesotans who worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 emergency to apply for bonus pay. While details of the program, including the online application process and timeline, are still being finalized, below we offer a summary of the salient points of the bill.

    Who Is Eligible?

    Workers eligible to apply for Frontline Worker Pay are those who work in:

    Long-term care and home care;

    Health care;

    Emergency response service;

    Public health, social service, and regulatory service;

    Courts and corrections;

    Child care;

    Schools, including charter schools, state schools and higher education;

    Food service, including production, processing, preparation, sale and delivery;

    Retail, including sales, fulfillment, distribution and delivery;

    Temporary shelters and hotels;

    Building services, including maintenance, janitorial and security;

    Public transit;

    Ground and air transportation services;

    Manufacturing; and

    Vocational rehabilitation.

    The bill does not define any of these terms and some—such as “health care” “child care” and “retail” can be understood very broadly. Until the Department of Labor and Industry gives further guidance, employers should assume that these categories of workers will be broadly inclusive.

    Employer Notification Requirements

    As noted below, employers with workers in frontline sectors are subject to notice requirements. The actual timing of events triggering these required notices is presently unknown.

    Additional Eligibility RequirementsDuration and Potential Exposure Risk

    Those eligible must have worked at least 120 hours in Minnesota in one or more frontline sectors listed above between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021. It must be shown that the applicant was not able to work these hours remotely (telework) due to the nature of the work and that they worked in close proximity to people outside of the applicant’s household.

    Income Range

    To be eligible, applicants must meet the following income requirements for at least one year between December 31, 2019, and January 1, 2022:

    Workers with direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities must have had an annual income less than $350,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or less than $175,000 for other filers; and

    For workers in occupations without direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities, the annual income limit is $185,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or $85,000 for other filers; and

    Regardless of occupation, workers must not have received an unemployment insurance benefit payment or served a nonpayable week for more than 20 weeks on a cumulative basis for weeks between March 15, 2020, and June 26, 2021 (Minnesota Statutes, section 268.085, subdivision 1, clause 6).

    How Much Will Bonus Payments Be?

    The bill allocates a total of $500 million for these frontline worker bonus payments. The total fund will be divided among the total applicants and must be the same for each applicant. So, the amount paid to each applicant will depend on how many workers apply and are approved. However, the bonuses are capped at $1,500 per worker.

    What Will the Application Process Look Like?

    The application process is not yet open, and no estimates have been given for when it will be. When it is open:

    Employers must notify all current workers (again, this term is not defined but appears to be broader than employees and could include contractors and others) who may be eligible for payments within 15 days of the application opening, explaining to them how to apply. There will be a form available from the Department of Labor and Industry for this purpose.

    Workers have 45 days to apply.

    If an application is denied, that worker can appeal within 15 days of the decision.

    The state has set up a Frontline Worker Pay information page. The page offers an option to sign up for alerts specific to these payments.

    Fredrikson & Byron PA - Erin M. Edgerton Hall and Brian T. Benkstein

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    Source : www.lexology.com

    Frontline Worker Pay

    AFSCME Council 5 members have been on the frontlines in our workplaces during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, risking infection of not only themselves, but of their loved ones. But they did what AFSCME members do best. We do our jobs with excellence on behalf of all Minnesotans. We were also on the frontlines in the halls of power, delivering upon one of our major legislative

    Frontline Worker Pay

    By Max Hall on Thursday, June 2 - 10:20am

    AFSCME Council 5 members have been on the frontlines in our workplaces during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, risking infection of not only themselves, but of their loved ones. But they did what AFSCME members do best. We do our jobs with excellence on behalf of all Minnesotans. We were also on the frontlines in the halls of power, delivering upon one of our major legislative agenda items to provide Frontline Worker Pay to as many of our heroes as possible. Our members' activism delivered results. On April 29, 2022, Governor Tim Walz signed the Frontline Worker Pay agreement into law and includes $500 million in hero pay checks to qualifying frontline workers. Our union will continue to fight for more.

    Check below for some answers to frequently asked questions.

    Bottom Line:

    1. Determine if you believe you are an eligible worker and meet all the criteria,

    2. Apply for Frontline Worker Pay when the application portal opens on June 8, 2022 (https://frontlinepay.mn.gov) and;

    3. Tell your co workers to apply and sign up non-members to join our AFSCME Council 5 family so we can continue the good fight! Together, we prove the Union Difference.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Eligible Frontline Worker Sectors

    Long-term care and home care

    Health care

    Emergency responders

    Public health, social service, and regulatory service

    Courts and corrections

    Child care

    Schools, including charter schools, state schools, and higher education

    Food service, including production, processing, preparation, sale and delivery

    Retail, including sales, fulfillment, distribution, and delivery

    Temporary shelters and hotels

    Building services, including maintenance, janitorial, and security

    Public transit

    Ground and air transportation services

    Manufacturing

    Vocational rehabilitation

    If I am an eligible worker, what other requirements are there to receive this check? You must have:

    Worked for at least 120 hours (in MN) between March 15, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

    Not been able to telework due to the nature of the work (at least 120 hours of non-telework would meet eligibility requirements for workers who had to perform some duties in-person) and worked in close proximity to individuals outside of their home.

    Met income requirements for either tax year 2020 or 2021:

    Workers with direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities:

    Adjusted Gross Income of $350,000 or less for married taxpayer filing joint;

    Adjusted Gross Income of $175,000 or less for all other filers

    What does "direct COVID-19 patient care" exactly mean?

    An employee had direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities if they, as part of their assigned job duties, were responsible for providing direct care to a patient, resident or individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19.

    All others (not with direct COVID patient care):

    Adjusted Gross Income of $185,000 or less for married taxpayer filing a joint return;

    Adjusted Gross Income of $85,000 or less for all other filers.

    Not received any unemployment insurance benefit payments for more than 20 cumulative weeks for the weeks between March 15, 2020 - June 26, 2021.

    Will I automatically receive this benefit? When can I apply?

    NO. You NEED TO apply with the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI). DOLI has set an initial online application window being open of June 8, 2022 (subject to potential changes). You will then have up to 45 days to submit your application for Frontline Worker Pay, with July 22, 2022 being the deadline (subject to potential changes).

    What information will I need to provide in order to apply?

    You will need the following information to prove you meet all eligibility requirements in order to apply for frontline worker pay:

    Name Address Phone Number Email Address

    Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

    Employer Name (for period from which you are applying for payments).*

    Employer Address*

    Employer Phone Number*

    Employer Email Address*

    Date of Birth

    * indicates that members should use their HR Rep/Office's information for better specificity in the application process. Your employer may choose to contact eligible workers with a different process.

    The information above will help the MN Department of Labor (DLI) compile a knowledge -based authentification question. If DLI cannot generate a question for an applicant, the applicant may need to provide a scanned copy of one of the following:

    Passport ID Card Driver's License Residence Permit

    Applicants choosing to receive their payments via Direct Deposit will need to provide their bank routing number and account number.

    Will this benefit be taxed?

    State income taxes will NOT be withheld from the payment. This was a priority of our union. However, the federal government will consider it taxable income.

    How much will I receive if I am eligible?

    If every anticipated eligible worker applies (660,000), then each person will receive roughly $750. The amount may go up if fewer workers apply, but will not exceed $1,500.

    Source : www.afscmemn.org

    Minnesota Frontline Worker Pay Law What You Need to Know

    Minnesota Department Labor Industry update on Frontline Worker Pay Law by clarifying application period June 8 July 22, 2022, and will require applicant to provide info, Frontline sector categories include professional, scientific, technical services industry, the information services industry, the finance and insurance industry

    Article By

    Brent D. Kettelkamp Colin H. Hargreaves

    Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

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    Updates to Minnesota’s Frontline Worker Pay Law

    Saturday, June 4, 2022

    As expected, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry recently provided an update regarding the new Frontline Worker Pay Law by distributing a fact sheet and a set of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

    Specifically, the state anticipates that the application period during which eligible workers may apply for frontline worker pay will run from June 8, 2022, through July 22, 2022. All applications will move through the review process at the same time and the state will forward payments for processing together. In other words, the application process will not proceed on a “first-come, first-served” basis. In order to reach as many frontline workers as possible, the state has made the application available in several languages.

    The application will use “knowledge-based authentication” to verify an applicant’s identity and will require the applicant to provide basic facts such as name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, employer name, employer address, dates of employment, and job title. Applicants may also be asked to verify their identification by scanning an image of an eligible identification document, such as a driver’s license, passport, or residence permit.

    The state has provided limited additional details regarding the frontline sector categories outlined in the new law. The FAQs do provide that “some examples of industries not included in the definition of ‘frontline sectors’ include the professional, scientific, and technical services industry, the information services industry, the finance and insurance industry, the utilities industry, the construction industry[,] and the arts, entertainment and recreation industries.”

    Additionally, applicants are required to certify that they meet the eligibility requirements of the law. This clarification will likely cause a sigh of relief for employers, given that a degree of uncertainty exists regarding who might be eligible under the new law. Specifically, the Minnesota Department of Labor’s response to FAQ 18 states that employers are “not required to provide documentation or other verification for an application to be processed.” Rather, “[t]he application will require the worker to certify that they meet all eligibility requirements and provide necessary information for verification.”

    While the state has not yet finalized the form for employers to use to notify employees who are potentially eligible to receive payment under the Frontline Worker Pay Law, the FAQs do make clear that employers “must provide notice using the same means that the employer[s] use[] to provide other work-related notices to employees.” The notice must be “at least” as conspicuous as:

    “posting a copy of the notice at each worksite where workers work and where the notice may be readily observed and reviewed by all workers working at the site”; or

    “providing a paper or electronic copy of the notice to all workers.”

    According to the state’s website, the notice form will be made available as the application dates are finalized.

    © 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 155

    Source : www.natlawreview.com

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