As expected, the Uniform State Labor Standards Act (H.F. No. 600)—a Minnesota bill to preempt local employment law ordinances, including the Minneapolis and St. Paul safe and sick leave ordinances—passed in the state House of Representatives on March 2, 2017, by a 76–53 margin. All Republican members of the chamber who were present supported the measure, and they were joined by two Democrats. The bill will now go to the state Senate, where a companion measure (S.F. No. 580) has been introduced.
Legislators faced strong opposition against this bill from members of the public, labor unions, and city officials. And Governor Dayton, a Democrat, is expected to veto the measure if it reaches his desk as a stand-alone law. As this year’s session continues, the preemption bill may be combined with other bills that have been introduced—particularly those that would provide family leave, extend safe and sick leave benefits to all workers in the state, and increase the state’s minimum wage to something closer to $15.00 per hour (the Democrats’ wish list)—to create a single bill. Republicans mostly oppose all of the proposals with which the bill is likely to be joined. The legislative session’s official adjournment date is Monday, May 22, 2017.
On a related note, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are expected to issue rules regarding their safe and sick leave ordinances on April 1, 2017—90 days prior to the effective dates of the ordinances.
We will continue to report on these measures—and others that would affect Minnesota employers—on our blog.