Pack Your Desk: Permanent “Work from Home” in Minnesota Has Been Signed into Law
Aylix K. Jensen offers analysis and insights for the debt collection industry in her monthly newsletter, The Safe Harbor: Debt Collection Law Update by Aylix Jensen. This monthly newsletter provides an update of changes and developments in the law that impact the debt collection industry. It highlights new debt collection laws and practices, discusses what these may mean for the collection industry, and provides tips to ensure compliance. This article is featured in the June 2022 edition.
After significant efforts over the past two years, on May 22, 2022, Governor Tim Walz signed Minnesota SF 2922 into law. The work from home aspects of the bill, which went into effect on June 1, 2022, permit collection agencies licensed in Minnesota to continue allowing their staff to work from home or in a hybrid model. Before the bill was signed into law, it was passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives on a nearly unanimous vote and by the Senate on a unanimous vote.
The final version of the bill provides in pertinent part:
Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 332.33, subdivision 3, is amended to read:
Licenses issued or renewed and registrations received by the commissioner of commerce under sections 332.31 to 332.44 shall expire on June 30. Each collection agency license shall plainly state the name and business address of the licensee, and shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the office where the business is transacted. The fee for each collection agency license is $500, and renewal is $400. The fee for each collector registration and renewal is $10, which entitles the individual collector to work at a licensee's business location or in another location as provided under subdivision 5b. An additional branch license is not required for a location used under subdivision 5b. A collection agency licensee who desires to carry on business in more than one place shall procure a license for each place where the business is to be conducted.
In addition, Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 332.33, is amended by adding subdivision 5b, which reads:
An employee of a licensed collection agency may work from a location other than the licensee's business location if the licensee and employee comply with all requirements under this section that would apply if the employee were working at the business location.
During the pandemic, third-party debt collectors demonstrated their ability to perform their duties remotely while maintaining the same level of compliance and safety. Approval of this bill by the governor allows licensed collection staff collecting from consumers in Minnesota to continue to have the flexibility of doing so from a location other than the licensee’s business location.