Chamber, Minneapolis litigation continues

Chamber, Minneapolis litigation continues

The Minnesota Chamber is working at the Legislature and in the courts to ensure employers have the flexibility to provide employee wages and benefits appropriate for their workplace. We are evaluating strategies for the 2018 Legislature to pass a state law that that would explicitly preempt local governments from enacting their own their minimum wage laws and other workplace mandates.

In the courts, we are challenging the city of Minneapolis on both its paid sick and safe leave ordinance, which went into effect July 1, 2017, and its minimum wage ordinance, which goes into effect January 1, 2018. Recent developments on both cases warrant your attention.

Minimum wage lawsuit:

The Minnesota Chamber has been seeking a temporary injunction of the Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance. On December 10, Hennepin County District Court Judge Susan Burke denied our request for the injunction.

The order noted that the courts are reluctant to interfere in the management of municipal affairs. It also held that the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act sets a floor, but not a ceiling, for minimum wages in the state. Furthermore, the judge’s ruling permits Minneapolis to enforce the ordinance even on employers resident outside the city limits, because the ordinance addresses issues within the Minneapolis city limits and applies only to work performed within the city limits.

The court also gave weight to the fact that when the Legislature attempted to pass the Uniform State Labor Standards Act in 2017, Governor Dayton vetoed the bill.

We are working with our lawyers to evaluate our next steps including a possible trial on the merits of our argument or an appeal to a higher court.

Paid sick and safe time lawsuit:

On November 28, the Minnesota Supreme Court declined to take our appeal in the paid sick and safe time lawsuit. Therefore, Minneapolis may enforce its paid sick and safe time ordinance on employers resident within the city limits, but is still under a temporary injunction prohibiting enforcement on employers resident outside the city limits.

As a result of this decision, there is no clear avenue in the court system to prevent enforcement of the ordinance within the city limits. That said, we will work to convert into a permanent ruling the still temporary ruling that prevents enforcement on employers outside of the city.

If you have questions on either case, please contact Cam Winton, our director of labor/management policy, at cwinton@mnchamber.com.