Paid sick leave ordinances take effect; Chamber lawsuit continues

Paid sick leave ordinances take effect; Chamber lawsuit continues
Welcome to the new regulatory landscape for doing business in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Effective July 1, businesses must conform to local ordinances mandating paid sick and safe time.
 
The laws govern the same employee benefit, but that’s where the similarity ends. For example, in Minneapolis, the law applies to businesses with six or more employees. In St. Paul, you must comply if you have one employee. The accompanying chart shows the other differences in the laws.
 

 

Minneapolis

St. Paul

Duluth

Effective date of ordinance

All employers: July 1, 2017

24 or more employees: July 1, 2017

23 or fewer employees: July 1, 2018

 

To be determined

Size of company impacted

6 or more employees: must provide paid sick and safe time

5 or fewer: must provide unpaid sick and safe time

Employers with 1 or more employee must provide paid sick and safe time

To be determined

Who can
pursue enforcement?

City government

City government or company employee

To be determined

Exceptions for new businesses

New employer in first 12 months of business must provide unpaid time but does not have to provide paid time. Chain establishments are not eligible for this exception.

New employer in first 6 months of business must provide unpaid time but does not have to provide paid time.

To be determined

Poster requirement

Minneapolis has its own poster that employers must post.

St. Paul has its own poster that employers must post.

To be determined

May employers require advanced notice from employees?

If need for leave foreseeable, yes, but not more than 7 days in advance.

Yes.

To be determined

Do employers with collective bargaining agreement still have to provide paid sick and safe time?

Yes, but employers with CBA have grace period until July 1, 2018 to provide paid sick and safe time.

Yes. No grace period.

To be determined.

 
That’s only the beginning. The complexity and confusion of local laws mandating private-sector employee benefits are likely to worsen. Duluth is considering an ordinance, too, and a task force is scheduled to issue its recommendations to the Duluth City Council in September.
 
“Employers already have their hands full when it comes to complying with state and federal workplace regulations. This proliferation of local mandates is only increasing their administrative headaches, especially if a company has a presence in multiple communities with distinctive local ordinances,” says Cam Winton, the Minnesota Chamber’s director of labor/management policy. “Today’s worker shortage already demands that employers voluntarily offer expanded wages and benefits to attract and retain employees, and they’re doing so.”
 
Because this patchwork of local ordinances has such a negative impact on employers, the Minnesota Chamber brought a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis challenging its ordinance, contending that it’s preempted by state law.
  
In January, Hennepin County District Court Judge Mel Dickstein ruled the city could move forward with imposing the ordinance on employers “resident” within the city limits. The Minnesota Chamber appealed that portion of the ruling. He also ruled that the ordinance could not apply to companies based outside of Minneapolis; the city appealed that portion of the ruling.
 
The Minnesota Court of Appeals heard arguments July 11 and must issue an opinion within 90 days. Whoever wins, the case is expected to be appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
 
For more information on the lawsuit, contact Winton at 651.292.4663 or cwinton@mnchamber.com