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What Essential Pay Rules Must You Know as a Business Owner?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Employment Law |

Many business owners oftentimes face challenges when trying to understand and adhere to state and federal wage and hour laws. This confusion generally presents itself when employers are trying to properly pay their employees Because there are many laws regulating what and how you must pay your employees, it is important to familiarize yourself with these laws.

While some pay errors may be simple mistakes that are easily corrected, others can be larger mistakes that could result in civil and/or criminal penalties, or a lawsuit against you. Understanding the pay rules under Minnesota state law is essential to avoid such issues.

What state laws must you abide by?

In general, state law requires the following:

  1. You must pay your employees at least the minimum wage.
  2. You must pay this for all hours they are performing job duties and any time you require them to be at work.
  3. If your hourly employees work more than 40 hours a week, you also must pay overtime, which is one and a half times the normal hourly pay rate.
  4. You must provide your employees with a record of each payment that outlines the hours worked, wage paid, and any deductions.

For breaks, Minnesota employers are required to provide employees with bathroom breaks and sufficient time to eat a meal. If a break is shorter than 20 minutes in duration, the break must be counted towards hours worked.

You should be cautious about any deductions taken from wages. You cannot take money from your employees to pay for tools, uniforms or other needed items. You also cannot take money from workers to pay for problems that may occur on the job, such as breaking something or having a cash shortage in a register drawer.

Established more than 100 years ago, Quinlivan & Hughes ranks among the oldest and largest law practices in Central Minnesota. The full-service law firm has growing legal teams in the areas of employment law, business law, government law, insurance defense, trust and estate planning, and general litigation. Learn more at