On April 29, 2019, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Leave ordinance, maintaining that the ordinance does not conflict with state law.
To fully understand the current status of the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Leave ordinance, it might be necessary to revisit its history. You may recall the Minneapolis City Council passing the ordinance in 2016. Shortly thereafter, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce sued the city, taking the position that the ordinance is not lawful because it conflicts with existing state law. The Hennepin County District Court issued a temporary injunction exempting businesses located outside of Minneapolis pending a decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals, but otherwise considered the ordinance enforceable (see our previous article, “Attention St Paul and Minneapolis employers: Paid sick and safe time leave is here”). This brings us to the current status.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld the sick and safe leave ordinance, reasoning that it does not conflict with existing state law. The Court of Appeals also held that the ordinance does not overstep its bounds by applying to hours worked in Minneapolis, even if an employer is located outside of the city. It is not yet known whether the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce will appeal the decision within the 30 day window following the ruling. So what does this mean for employers?
Employers with locations in Minneapolis should continue to comply with the ordinance for their employees within the city. For other employers with employees who work in the city, the current expectation is less clear. If the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce does not appeal the decision, the ordinance will apply to all employees who work in the city, regardless of where the employer is located. If the decision is appealed, the Minnesota Court of Appeals will need to decide whether to lift the injunction currently exempting outside employers pending the appeal .
There are a few things employers should know if their organizations are obligated to comply with the ordinance:
Hannah advises employers on leave policies, discrimination, harassment, accommodations, wage and hour obligations and any other issues that may arise in the workplace.
Hannah advises employers on leave policies, discrimination, harassment, accommodations, wage and hour obligations and any other issues that may arise in the workplace. In addition to providing practical solutions to employment law matters, Hannah has extensive private practice experience. Her focus included early intervention advice and solutions to employers, as well as representing them in the defense of administrative claims. She now works on a team dedicated to providing solutions for employment law and compliance matters for employers of all sizes. Hannah graduated from William Mitchell College of Law, after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Winona State University.
On May 11, 2014, the governor of Minnesota signed the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), a bill that will require Minnesota employers to make dramatic changes to their employment policies and practices.
While WESA directly impacts employers who conduct business in Minnesota, the changes follow plans by federal and local governments to expand legal protections for women and other employees. For this reason, employers in other jurisdictions should pay close attention to these national and state law trends.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is more than 20 years old, yet employers have many questions on how the law applies to their workforce. Unfortunately, mistakes in the application can have significant business and legal consequences.
Making FMLA mistakes can be costly, and many employers make mistakes they don’t even know they are making. Let’s take a look at five common leave-of-absence mistakes based on our experience with real clients from our HR Hotline.
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