A new law takes effect today that backers say is one of the toughest in the country against wage theft by employers. “Wage theft” is when an employer doesn’t pay an employee all wages, salary, tips, commissions or other earnings that they’re entitled to, and officials say tens of thousands of Minnesotans are put in that position every year. The new law makes wage theft a felony beginning August 1st with penalties up to five years in prison and a 10-thousand-dollar fine. The state Department of Labor and Industry gets immediate funding to implement a wage theft prevention initiative, and the new law has protections for whistleblower employees.
And a new law taking effect today sets up an advisory council to help combat Minnesota’s opioid epidemic, and provides funding for social service agencies for child protection in families affected by opioid addiction. The measures are paid for by a new annual registration fee on opioid manufacturers and distributors in Minnesota.