Workplace mandates an emerging concern

The United for Jobs Coalition, led by the Minnesota Chamber, secured a major victory as all three sales taxes on business-to-business transactions were repealed, effective March 31, 2014. In addition, the bill (HF1777) adopts federal conformity for income-tax returns, increases the threshold for estate taxes to $2 million, and repeals the gift tax (retroactive to June 30, 2013). Unfortunately, the bill delays enactment of the up-front exemption for sales tax on capital equipment from September 2014 to July 2015. Minnesotans overall receive $443 million in tax relief.

We are grateful for your work.  If you spoke to your legislator, hosted a facility tour, sent an email or signed our petition, you helped make this happen. Thank you for keeping up the pressure since last spring, over the summer and into this legislative session.

We want to alert you to an emerging concern: a series of workplace mandates that could be very disruptive to you and your employees:   

HF 92, Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley/SF 3, Eaton, DFL-Brooklyn Center
There’s momentum to raise the state’s rate from the current $6.15 to $9.50 per hour, plus proposals to link it to an automatic inflation index. Take action on this bill.

HF 2461, Lesch, DFL-St. Paul/SF 2105, Pappas, DFL-St. Paul
All employees must accrue at least one hour of paid sick or safe time per 30 hours worked. While the bill attempts to allow PTO to count, if your PTO does not meet the specific accrual and usage requirements, employers also would need to offer new sick time or change policies to comply with the new law. Sick leave will be carried over from year to year without a lifetime cap. If employment ends, and an employee is rehired within 12 months, the sick leave is reinstated, creating a direct disincentive to rehire seasonal and temporary employees. Take action on this bill.

HF 2300, Melin, DFL-Hibbing/SF 2006, Goodwin, DFL-Columbia Heights

Adds family caregivers as a protected class under the Minnesota Human Rights Act and expands litigation risk and exposure for employers. The definition of caregiver is ambiguous and overly broad, and ignores the fact that employees already have rights to provide for family members with serious health concerns.

HF 2373, Moran, DFL-St. Paul/SF 1806, Pappas, DFL-St. Paul

Creates new regulations on Minnesota employers contracting with the state by mandating new job HR review and payment system to evaluate based on comparable worth.  No other state in the country has a similar requirement.

Your voice does make a difference. Please thank your legislators today for passing the tax bill, and urge them to not increase the cost of doing business in Minnesota.