Senator Champion: We must stand strong in protecting Minneapolis’ Safe and Sick Time ordinance

“I strongly oppose the legislation that would strike down sick leave mandates put in place by Minneapolis last year. The pre-emption measure would ban local employment regulation on minimum wage, unpaid leave and scheduling requirements. We fought hard for these benefits that help working families. We cannot allow legislators on the state level to take away local control and implement statewide standards that harm metro area workers.”

Background

  • Minneapolis and St. Paul have implemented additional benefit policies for employees working within their territorial boundaries.
  • A progressive consortium of labor, business, local elected officials and social-based organizations fought for the leave benefits that passed in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
  • These local ordinances are supported by many small businesses and serve their communities well. They help working families stay employed through a higher minimum wage and paid sick leave. This bill preempts local government ordinances and would deny paid sick days and living wages to thousands of metro workers.
  • Taking away local control for small business is an intrusion on small business and local elected decision makers rights. Communities should be able to maintain local control that are pertinent to their neighborhoods.
  • These policies were pushed by the Minnesota Chamber. They disempower communities to set wage and labor standards with no respect for local government decision.
  • The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Business Partnership want to prohibit cities from enacting their own benefit requirements as outlined in this proposal. They argue that a patchwork of local ordinances is unworkable for small businesses and it makes it harder to do business in Minnesota.

The bill would prohibit the enactment of labor compensation/benefits at the local level. As written, the bill has three core components that prohibit local governments from:

  • Establishing a minimum wage
  • Requiring businesses to provide sick and safe time
  • Establishing rules relative to benefits, terms of employment, or working conditions
  • The effective date would make the bill retroactive for ordinances that were enacted on or after January 1, 2016.
Senator Bobby Joe Champion
Bobby Joe Champion represents District 59, which includes portions of downtown and north Minneapolis in Hennepin County. He is also an attorney.

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