Jobs and labor bills would impact working Minnesotans

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There was legislative action or introduction of several bills that impact working Minnesotans at the legislature this week. These proposals would reduce overtime compensation for agricultural employees, prohibit cities from enacting their own benefit requirements, and ensure people have access to family and medical leave.

Seasonal workers’ exemption from overtime: This bill, which would exempt individuals harvesting crops from receiving overtime, was heard in the Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee. While agricultural groups are supportive of this proposal, several labor organizations oppose this legislation. It has been reported that Governor Dayton also opposes this proposal. (SF 899)

Prohibiting local units of government to set benefits: Democrats made a motion requesting the preemption bill be heard in the Health and Human Services Committee, but that request was denied in the Rules Committee by Senate Republicans. The bill has been referred to the Senate floor for a vote by all of the members. (SF 580)

Access to Paid Leave: Under this bill, an insurance program administered by the state of Minnesota would provide Minnesotans with up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement during pregnancy and medical leave and 12 weeks of family leave, defined as bonding with a new child or caring for a seriously-ill family member. (SF 830)