Despite Legal Challenges, Sick Leave Ordinances Are On Track For July 1

Despite legal challenges, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are preparing to implement their respective mandatory sick leave ordinances on July 1, 2017.

In St. Paul, employers with 23 or fewer employees get a reprieve until January 1, 2018.

Despite the threat of legal challenges, both cities have taken significant steps to get ready for implementation.

What’s Happened Lately?

As they promised to do, the cities have released supplemental materials, including:

At the same time, challenges to the city ordinances continue to move forward. First, the lawsuit filed by the Chamber of Commerce is pending at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  While the Chamber’s request for expedited review was denied, it is possible that the matter could be heard before July 1.  A decision before that date, however, is unlikely.

Potential Legislative Impact

The second challenge remains tied up at the Minnesota Legislature. While both houses have passed H.F. 600, which would nullify any city ordinances requiring employers to provide paid/unpaid leave or establishing a minimum wage higher than the state minimum wage (currently $9.50 for large employers and $7.75 for small employers), each body passed a different version of the bill.  Thus, the bill will have first go to conference committee to hammer out the differences and then be repassed by both chambers before being presented to Gov. Mark Dayton, who has been quoted as saying that he has “very significant concerns” about the bill, but did not say that he would necessarily veto it.

Bottom Line

Regardless of the legal and legislative maneuvering, Minneapolis and St. Paul employers should begin preparing for the July 1 effective date. Felhaber Larson will be conducting a half-day seminar on the new rules on June 1.  Details on that program will be available in the next few days.