MINNESOTA CHAMBER CHALLENGES MINNEAPOLIS MINIMUM WAGE ORDINANCE
The Minnesota Chamber, along with other business organizations, filed a lawsuit on November 10 seeking to strike down the Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance. The action also asks the court to prevent Minneapolis from enforcing the ordinance which is scheduled to take effect January, 1, 2018.
We do not take this action lightly, recognizing this is the second lawsuit we have filed against the city of Minneapolis regarding wage and benefit mandates on private-sector employers. Simply put, a patchwork of local laws creates burdensome and time-consuming regulations on employers and makes it increasingly difficult for businesses to have a compensation system that works for employees and employer alike.
Most troubling is that the city of Minneapolis seeks to regulate employers with employees working in Minneapolis, regardless of whether their physical offices are located within or outside the city limits.
Our concerns were underscored in a commentary by Chamber President Doug Loon in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Local government needs to butt out of wage and sick leave mandates."
Both lawsuits challenge the legality of the ordinances on the basis that they conflict with state law. We firmly believe that businesses are in the best position to frame wages and benefits that best suit their employees and their distinctive operations.
We also continue to evaluate our legislative approaches to seeking uniform state labor standards.
Our best defense to fighting workplace mandates at all levels of government is to go on the offense by presenting examples of what companies already are doing – voluntarily, without the force of government – in designing wage and benefit packages to attract and retain employees. To that end, we are collecting examples of "best practices" that we can share with the broader business community and policymakers. Please send your examples to Cam Winton, our director of labor/management policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our efforts at the Legislature and in the courts. Our work is not done.