Groups Sue Minneapolis Over "Unlawful" Paid Sick Time Ordinance

Date: November 15, 2016

They argue the measure conflicts with current state law and will have an adverse impact on small business owners.

Groups Sue Minneapolis Over ‘Unlawful’ Paid Sick Time Ordinance

Businesses are putting up a fight against new ordinances.

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, along with NFIB and other
groups, is suing the city of Minneapolis over its paid sick time ordinance, according
to Twin Cities Business.

“The action challenges the Minneapolis paid sick time
ordinance as unlawful on the grounds that it conflicts with existing state law,”
the chamber statement said.

Additionally, the chamber stated, “many employers already
offer sick time benefits, the ordinance requires significant staff effort to
implement, … the differences between Minneapolis and St. Paul exacerbate that
burden, and … the ordinance impacts businesses that aren’t even located in
Minneapolis because their employees deliver goods or provide services in the
city,” MPR News reports.

The ordinance, scheduled to take effect July 1, 2017,
requires Minneapolis businesses to provide one hour of paid sick time for every
30 hours an employee works, with a cap of 80 hours.

 Although the ordinance applies to businesses only with six
or more employees, the chamber is concerned this mandate will affect companies outside of
Minneapolis as well.

NFIB/MN State Director Mike Hickey explained, “We
cannot have different cities setting various levels of mandated benefits. This
will be especially problematic for businesses that have multiple locations
and would have to comply with different mandates potentially at each
location.” 

The chamber added, “Companies that deliver goods and services
into the city, who have employees who telecommute from Minneapolis, or who
otherwise have employees who attend meetings and events in Minneapolis, will
find themselves subject to the ordinance—perhaps unwittingly.”

NFIB, along with the Minnesota Recruiting and Staffing Association,
Otogawa-Anschel General Contractors and Consultants, TwinWest Chamber of
Commerce, and Graco Inc., have joined the Chamber as co-plaintiffs in the
lawsuit.

“We developed an equivalent solution for paid leave in the
1990s, and it’s been working great ever since,” said Graco CEO Patrick J.
McHale. “We move our employees between our locations across the metro, based on
business needs. We’re able to do that because our pay and benefits are the
same. When cities enact different rules, it’s no longer an option to move
employees due to these differences in pay and benefits packages.”

Chamber President Doug Loon added, “Businesses across the
state already are adopting paid leave policies designed to meet the particular
needs of their enterprise and their employees. State and local policymakers
should be encouraging this trend and not imposing a straightjacket with
one-size-fits-all mandates.”

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