Chambers and Business Groups Seek State Preemption of Local Labor Rules

On May 27th, the Minneapolis City Council passed a sick and safe leave ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick and safe leave to employees who work 80 hours or more per year within the city. Minnesota Chambers of Commerce and business groups such as the Minnesota Business Partnership are seeking to preempt local regulation by advocating for a state law prohibiting cities from imposing labor rules that are stricter than state or federal labor laws. At the forefront of the debate are groups such as the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Advocacy Coalition of Chambers (including the Richfield Chamber of Commerce), the Minnesota Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Minnesota Business Partnership.

Ordinances such as the Minneapolis ordinance create a patchwork of city-by-city workplace mandates that is bad for business, imposing additional costs and administrative headaches on employers that must track and comply with each city’s mandates. The issue has even become a prime bargaining chip for Republican lawmakers as they try to negotiate terms with Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders for convening of a special session. In 2016, all legislative seats are up for election, making time of the essence in the event there is a turnover in power in the House of Representatives and retention of DFL control in the Senate. House Republican leaders have leverage by holding control over consideration of transportation and construction projects during a special session. Those of you who attended our BEER event on May 25th will recall that our speaker, Charlie Weaver – Executive Director of the Minnesota Business Partnership – presented information on this issue to attendees. For more details, click here.