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Total Articles: 10

Triplets? Duluth Joins Twin Cities in Enacting Paid Sick and Safe Time Law

After considerable fact-finding efforts and numerous amendments, Duluth, Minnesota enacted Minnesota’s third paid sick and safe time law. Employers with Minnesota operations may not find three to be a magic number because—while parts of the new law are similar to those in Minneapolis and St. Paul—Duluth’s law breaks from the pack on various issues. Fortunately, because the law will not take effect until January 1, 2020, employers have more time to determine whether and how Duluth’s standards interact with existing policies and procedures. Below we answer the most common paid sick and safe time questions employers have when a new law is enacted, and note key differences between Duluth’s law and those already in effect in the Twin Cities.

Court Confirms Minneapolis Sick Leave Ordinance Not Enforceable Against Employers Based Outside of City

Last week, a court upheld the Minneapolis paid sick leave ordinance, but ruled that it is only enforceable against employers within the city’s limits. Minneapolis’s paid sick leave ordinance was passed in 2016 and was immediately challenged by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, which argued that the Minneapolis ordinance conflicts with state law and cannot be enforced against employers who do not have a physical presence in the city. That challenge resulted in a temporary injunction of the ordinance against employers located outside of the City of Minneapolis, but employers located within the city had to comply and offer the mandated paid sick leave. Now, the court has made the temporary injunction permanent. Employers should keep their eye on the status of the Minneapolis paid sick leave law to see if the City appeals the court’s decision or amends the ordinance in a way to cover more employees working in Minneapolis for employers that don’t have a physical presence in the city.

The Times They Are A Changin’: Minnesota Bill Would Remove “Severe or Pervasive” Sexual Harassment Standard

After suffering two embarrassing departures of its members in the wake of sexual harassment complaints by staffers and female members, the Minnesota Legislature is considering amending the state’s discrimination statute to state that a plaintiff need not prove that the sexual harassment was “severe or pervasive.” To quote a well-known Minnesotan, Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A Changin’.”

Minnesota Legislature Proposes Sweeping Change to Sexual Harassment Law

On April 23, 2018, Minnesota House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin introduced HF 4459, a bill to amend the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) to change the legal standard for sexual harassment. The bill, which has wide bipartisan support and 34 cosponsors, has a companion bill in the Senate sponsored by Senator Karen Housley. If passed, the bill would do away with the “severe or pervasive” standard for sexual harassment claims, but is silent on the replacement. As drafted, the bill would likely create confusion and uncertainty for employers, employees, and the courts statewide.

It’s Not Enough to Just Drive By: Minnesota Cases Reiterate Requirements to State Viable ADA Title III Access Claims

In two rulings arising in Minnesota in March of 2018, federal courts reminded litigants that business owners have various defenses that can effectively shut down so-called “drive by” disability access lawsuits prior to trial.

Michigan Bans the Ban: New Law Stops Local Government Regulations on Employer Inquiries

On March 26, 2018, Governor Rick Snyder signed an amendment to Michigan’s Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act into law. Public Act 84 (2018) prohibits local government bodies from adopting or enforcing any local policy, resolution, or ordinance that regulates what a prospective employer must request, require, or exclude during the interview process or on an application for employment.

Consider This – Minnesota Court Of Appeals Again Requires Proof Of Additional Consideration For Non-Compete Agreements For Existing Employees

In October and November of this past year, we wrote about two Minnesota court decisions – Mid-America Business Systems v. Sanderson et al., Case No. 17-3876 (Dist. Minn. Oct. 6, 2017) and Safety Center, Inc. v. Stier, Case No. A17-0360 (Minn. App., Nov. 6, 2017) — that addressed the adequacy of consideration that is provided in exchange for entry into a non-compete agreement.

Minnesota and Minneapolis Minimum Wage Rates to Increase on January 1, 2018

Minimum wage rates for most employees in Minnesota will increase on January 1, 2018. Both the state of Minnesota's automatic minimum wage hike and a new minimum wage ordinance for workers in the city of Minneapolis will take effect on that date.

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Reaffirms That A Non-Compete Must Be Part Of A Job Offer To A Prospective Employee

Last month, this Blog highlighted a Minnesota decision evaluating the consideration required for non-compete agreements entered into after the commencement of employment. As that decision held, such agreements must be supported by valuable consideration over and above continued employment.

Minnesota Supreme Court Kills Employment at Will

On October 11, 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a decision in Burt v. Rackner, Inc., No. A15-2045 (October 11, 2017), that may have effectively abrogated the long-standing rule of “employment at will” in Minnesota. By creating a claim for retaliation under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA)—a statute which does not contain an express retaliation provision—a 5-2 majority of the court held that other provisions of the MFLSA could be read to permit a restaurant employee who refused to share tips in apparent violation of the law (and who was later discharged) to sue for wrongful discharge under the statute. The court’s majority articulated a new and expansive principle for finding legislative intent to allow a claim based on a statute.