Legislators need to hear from you on three, extremely bad-for-small-business bills now circulating the Legislature
The following three bills will have a ruinous effect on small businesses in Minnesota. Lawmakers need to hear from you, now. Click here for a list of them with their contact information. Please let NFIB know if you called your state representative. You can email us at [email protected] or simply call our office at 651-293-1283 and leave a message.
1. Oppose the Excessive Paid Family & Sick Leave Mandates (HF 2208)
The new House majority caucus has rolled out an excessively expensive new paid family leave mandated program that will cost close to $1 billion annually when fully implemented and will require the addition of 352 new state workers. The bill, authored by Rep. Laurie Halverson (Eagan), has been inserted into a large jobs bill that establishes a mandated 12-week paid family leave program and short-term disability program. All employers, regardless of size, would be assessed a new 0.486 percent – 0.6 percent assessment on their wage base up to $132,900 for the program.
A second new paid sick leave mandate, authored by Rep. Tim Mahoney (St. Paul), has also been inserted in the bill. It would require all employers, regardless of size, to provide six days of paid sick leave per year for full-time employees and would allow them to accrue up to a maximum of 10 days per year.
NFIB has serious concerns about this new family leave program tax growing in future years and it will require many businesses to have to hire temporary workers and absorb the cost of hiring and training them. NFIB members are also strongly opposed to being micromanaged by the state government and the paid sick leave mandate is another step in that direction.
2. Stop the 20-Cent Gas Tax & Vehicle Fee Increases
The House of Representatives will vote soon on Gov. Tim Waltz’s massive gas tax increase and NFIB needs its members to help stop bill HF1555 dead in its tracks. This bill raises the gas tax dramatically over the next four years along with increasing other taxes and fees. The bill makes the following changes:
- Raises the gas tax a whopping 20-cents per gallon, a 70 percent increase over the next four years, raising it all the way to 48.5-cents per gallon and worse yet, enacts an automatic inflation adjustment on it guaranteeing that the rate will rise additionally every year The 20-cent increase alone will move Minnesota from its 28th ranking to the fourth highest in the nation
- Raises the motor vehicle sales tax of 6.5 to 6.87 percent
- Enacts a 0.5-cent increase in the metro area sales tax to be dedicated for transit
All totaled, the bill raises transportation-related taxes by close to an estimated $11 billion over the next 10 years!
Emails and calls are needed to your state representative ASAP in opposition to this dramatic increase in gas and other transportation-related taxes. Please explain to them how this large increase will hurt your business and raise the cost of doing business.
3. Immediate Action Needed to Oppose Legislation Aimed to Make Costly Changes to Sexual-Harassment Law
Urge your legislators to oppose HF 4459/SF4031, which would make major changes in the sexual-harassment law that could cost your small business thousands.
A sexual-harassment case can cost a small business between $50,000 to $250,000. Legislation has just been proposed to significantly change sexual-harassment law in Minnesota and would lower the bar or standard that employees need to meet to bring sexual-harassment claims against their employer. There are legitimate concerns this would open the flood gates to litigation and many new lawsuits against small business.
Specifically, the bill overturns a long-time key precedent case decided by the US Supreme Court in 1986, which is still the controlling standard or test for which a plaintiff needs to meet in a sexual harassment case. The court determined in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson that employees who are sexually harassed can prevail in their lawsuit if the harassment was “severe or pervasive.” The proposed Minnesota bills would remove this key standard.
Clearly, many victims of sexual harassment have had their claims denied due to this current standard but the problem with HF 4459 is that it does not replace the current “severe or pervasive” standard with a new one that the Minnesota courts would use that is workable for both victims of sexual harassment and employers. Protect your small business by asking your legislator to oppose this legislation as introduced.