The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has evaluated the new Minneapolis “paid sick and safe time” ordinance. Effective July 1, 2017, the ordinance requires any company with 6 or more employees to provide paid sick and safe time at a specified accrual rate to all employees who work within the Minneapolis city limits for 80 hours or more per year—regardless of whether the employer has an office in Minneapolis. There are extensive record-keeping obligations and fines for noncompliance.
The Chamber support businesses providing their employees with the time and space they need to care for themselves and their loved ones. In fact, thousands of Minnesota businesses have each developed and implemented their own tailored approaches to providing employees with paid time off.
In contrast, the Minneapolis ordinance will impose a one-size-fits-all mandate on most businesses operating within Minneapolis—even businesses that have no physical presence in the city. This heavy-handed approach will stifle employers’ current initiatives, burden businesses with significant administrative costs, lead to unintentional errors that could result in fines, and interfere in workplace operations.
Furthermore, the Minneapolis ordinance is a troubling step toward a patchwork of rules that businesses must navigate as they cross city lines. Both St. Paul and Duluth are also considering similar ordinances. To create a healthy economy for all Minnesotans, Minnesota’s businesses need uniform rules across the state—rules that do not restrict the ability of each business to implement a leave policy that fits its particular business model. That’s why the Minnesota Chamber has advocated, and will keep advocating, for an explicit preemption statute.
Regarding Minneapolis, the city overstepped its legal limits when it enacted this ordinance, and the ordinance is therefore unlawful. The Minnesota Chamber is considering all options to protect its members, including litigation. We will keep you informed as this issue develops.
In the meantime, the following materials are a toolkit of responses you can utilize if and when the city-by-city push for paid sick time mandates arrives in your town. Feel free to contact the Minnesota Chamber with any questions.