Total Articles: 54
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 15, 2019
The City of Duluth, Minnesota’s Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (ESST) will go into effect on January 1, 2020, and employers should be preparing for compliance.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 11, 2019
The City of Duluth has published final rules and revised FAQs implementing its Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. The Ordinance takes effect January 1, 2020 for employers with five or more employees, regardless of whether they work in Duluth. Under the law, employees accrue, or an employer frontloads, paid sick and safe time (SST) that employees can use for themselves or to care for or assist a covered family member for the following reasons: mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; preventive medical care; and absences connected to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. Below we discuss whether and how the rules clarify or gap-fill the ordinance's requirements.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 26, 2019
he City of Duluth, Minnesota’s Sick and Safe Time Ordinance takes effect on January 1, 2020. Duluth is the third Minnesota city (joining Minneapolis and St. Paul) to impose sick and safe time leave requirements on employers.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 22, 2019
The Ordinance largely incorporates the State of Minnesota’s wage theft legislation (Minnesota Wage Theft Laws). (For details of the Minnesota wage theft legislation, see our article, Minnesota Adds New Wage Payment and Recordkeeping Requirements; Criminalizes ‘Wage Theft.’) The Minneapolis law, however, also imposes additional obligations for employers with respect to any employee who works in the City of Minneapolis at least 80 hours in one year. (Significantly, Minneapolis has taken the enforcement position that “an individual who attends a convention, conference, training, educational class, or similar in the City, but performs no other work in the City for an Employer, is not covered by the Ordinance.” [Emphasis added.]) Employees alleging violations under the Ordinance may file a complaint with the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights within two years of the alleged violation, or three years of the alleged violation if the violation is found to be “willful.”
Ogletree Deakins • August 28, 2019
In early 2018, Minnesota federal courts issued two decisions dismissing so-called “drive-by” disability access lawsuits under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That trend has continued in 2019. In fact, in just the past two months, courts in Minnesota have dismissed, in whole or in part, no fewer than six Title III cases, again reminding business owners that liability is far from automatic in these lawsuits.
Ogletree Deakins • August 14, 2019
Joining a chorus of cities and states addressing concerns involving employers’ failure to properly calculate employees’ pay, or to pay them at all, allowing employees to work “off the clock,” or take unauthorized or illegal deductions, on August 8, 2019, the City of Minneapolis enacted an ordinance prohibiting “wage theft,” which will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 12, 2019
On August 8, 2019, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed the Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance, creating new requirements for Minneapolis employers and giving the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights enforcement power. If Mayor Jacob Frey signs the Ordinance as is expected, the ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2020, and will largely duplicate, and then expand upon, the recently enacted state wage theft law that went into effect on July 1, 2019.1 While Minnesota employers are working diligently to interpret and come into compliance with state wage theft law’s requirements, Minneapolis employers will soon face additional requirements.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 04, 2019
Minnesota’s wage theft law, which largely went into effect on July 1, 2019, created new documentation and recordkeeping requirements for employers, including a required written notice that must be distributed to employees and additional earnings statement requirements. This new law also increased the civil penalties applicable to employers that commit recordkeeping violations and created criminal penalties for “wage theft.” The criminal provisions of the law went into effect on August 1, 2019.
Ogletree Deakins • June 25, 2019
In our previous article, we summarized the key provisions of Minnesota’s new “wage theft” law. This article focuses specifically on the notices and disclosures employers are required to provide to their employees under the law, as well as new recordkeeping requirements.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 17, 2019
Minnesota has enacted detailed new recordkeeping requirements for employers, effective July 1, 2019, and wage theft protections for employees, effective August 1, 2019.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 11, 2019
In one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting employers in many years, the Minnesota Legislature passed, and Governor Walz signed, the Jobs and Economic Development Omnibus bill that includes new wage theft protections for employees and new requirements for employers. The wage theft bill is one of the few pieces of bipartisan employment legislation that survived the 2019 legislative session. The law constitutes a very significant change in wage payment requirements and enforcement. It includes increased civil enforcement and recordkeeping requirements for employers, as well as new criminal penalties for intentional wage theft. These changes will go into effect on August 1, 2019.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 21, 2019
Minneapolis’ Sick and Safe Ordinance extends to any employee who performs at least 80 hours of work per benefit year in the City of Minneapolis, even if his or her employer is not located within the city’s limits, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has held. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce v. Minneapolis, No. A18-0771 (Apr. 29, 2019). This significant ruling stretches Minneapolis-imposed requirements to non-Minneapolis employers, including — in some instances — requiring them to provide paid time off to their employees.
Ogletree Deakins • May 17, 2019
As the 2019 regular session of the Minnesota Legislature draws to a close, lawmakers in St. Paul are deadlocked on the budget bill. As a result, many of the bills we reported on in our previous articles are stalled in committee or unlikely to see final action this year. The legislature must end its regular session on Monday, May 20, 2019, and it’s unclear whether there will be a special session. Here, we report on some of the most watched bills, tell you which ones stand a chance of passage, and provide updates on the bills we summarized in our two previous reports. Most of those bills are not expected to move to final action this year.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 06, 2019
On April 29, 2019, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned a state district court ruling and found that the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (SST Ordinance) applies to employers outside the City limits. Previously, an injunction prohibited Minneapolis from enforcing the SST Ordinance against employers that did not have facilities within the City. Unless this decision is appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court within 30 days—which is likely—the injunction will be dissolved and all employers will have to provide protected sick and safe time to employees who work at least 80 hours a year in the City, regardless of where the employer has facilities.
Ogletree Deakins • May 05, 2019
In the latest chapter of the Minneapolis Sick and Safe time ordinance saga, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has ended an injunction issued by a lower court that limited the ordinance to employers located within the city of Minneapolis. Now, the ordinance will apply to any employee who works a minimum of 80 hours in a year within Minneapolis, regardless of where the employer is located. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce v. City of Minneapolis, No. A18-0771 (April 29, 2019).
Ogletree Deakins • April 17, 2019
The Minnesota Supreme Court recently issued two decisions affecting employers in the state. In one, the high court overruled a 30-year-old precedent that excluded disabilities covered by the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act from the disability discrimination provisions of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
Ogletree Deakins • April 01, 2019
In part one of this series, we reported on several legislative developments in Minnesota that could impact employers. Now the Minnesota Legislature has proposed more bills affecting the workplace. These bills could alter the standard for sexual harassment, preempt local wage and sick leave laws, prohibit discrimination against unemployed job applicants, change the definition of “wage theft,” and further gender equality legislation.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 18, 2019
The Minnesota Supreme Court in Daniel v. City of Minneapolis overruled itself, and 30 years of precedent, by holding the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act’s exclusivity provision does not bar disability discrimination claims for the same injury. A summary of the facts of the case follows, along with takeaways for employers.
Ogletree Deakins • March 06, 2019
The Minnesota Legislature is in session through May 20, 2019. This session promises to be very active with numerous bills affecting employers and the workplace. Major bills include paid leaves of absence (including family and sick leave), restrictions on an employer’s ability to access social media accounts, right-to-work legislation, vaccination exemptions, wage theft, and the legal standard for sexual harassment, and making available to a complaining party more information regarding the employer’s investigation and corrective action.
Ogletree Deakins • December 31, 2018
Minimum wage rates for employees of the largest businesses in St. Paul will increase to $15 per hour on July 1, 2022. Other businesses in St. Paul will be required to meet the wage hike between July 1, 2023, and July 1, 2027, depending on their size.
Ogletree Deakins • December 31, 2018
Continuing a national trend, on May 30, 2018, the Duluth City Council enacted an ordinance requiring private businesses that employ five or more employees to provide paid sick and safe leave to employees. The ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2020. It requires employers to provide employees up to 40 hours of covered sick and safe leave per year, and it also ensures that employees have a private civil cause of action against their employers for violations of the ordinance.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 16, 2018
On November 14, 2018, the Saint Paul City Council passed, and Mayor Melvin Carter signed into law, an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage in Saint Paul, Minnesota to $15 an hour starting as early as 2022 for large businesses operating within city limits. Long a priority of Mayor Carter, the increased Saint Paul minimum wage is now more closely aligned with that of its twin city, Minneapolis.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 07, 2018
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 15, 2018
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.
Ogletree Deakins • April 02, 2018
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 15, 2018
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 30, 2017
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.
Ogletree Deakins • October 30, 2017
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.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 10, 2017
Most businesses entering into contracts in excess of $500,000 with the state of Minnesota are required to obtain an Equal Pay Certificate from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) as a condition of doing business with the state. The required elements of an application for certification are set forth in section 363A.44 of the Minnesota statutes.
Ogletree Deakins • July 21, 2017
On May 23, 2017, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed into law amendments to the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) that are intended to curb the flood of “drive-by” disability access lawsuits in the state.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 07, 2017
The Minneapolis Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance and the Saint Paul Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance will go into effect on July 1, 2017, as scheduled.
Ogletree Deakins • May 24, 2017
In the waning hours of the 2017 legislative session, Republicans who control both houses of the Minnesota Legislature reached an agreement with Democratic Governor Mark Dayton on a budget bill that removed from a provision that would have preempted Minnesota cities’ safe and sick leave ordinances and other labor standards measures.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 01, 2017
The City of Minneapolis and the City of Saint Paul have issued their preliminary rules regarding their respective safe and sick leave ordinances, which are scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2017. These preliminary rules provide additional clarity and guidance on how the ordinances will be interpreted and applied.
Ogletree Deakins • March 14, 2017
As expected, the Uniform State Labor Standards Act (H.F. No. 600)—a Minnesota bill to preempt local employment law ordinances, including the Minneapolis and St. Paul safe and sick leave ordinances—passed in the state House of Representatives on March 2, 2017, by a 76–53 margin. All Republican members of the chamber who were present supported the measure, and they were joined by two Democrats. The bill will now go to the state Senate, where a companion measure (S.F. No. 580) has been introduced.
Ogletree Deakins • February 21, 2017
Employers with employees in Minnesota—and in particular, those with employees in the cities of Minneapolis and/or St. Paul—may be interested in the status of several bills that have been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature addressing the issue of paid leaves of absence, including safe and sick leave.
Ogletree Deakins • February 08, 2017
The battle over paid sick leave and minimum wage ordinances at the municipal level moved to the Minnesota Legislature as its 2017–2018 session kicked off at the end of January. Several bills introduced in the 2017-2018 session would either establish a statewide standard for paid leaves or preempt and prevent municipalities from passing their own ordinances on these subjects.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 27, 2017
A Minnesota state district court recently issued a temporary injunction preventing Minneapolis from enforcing its Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), which is scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2017, against any employer “resident outside the geographic boundaries” of Minneapolis until after a hearing on the merits or further court order. It is unclear from the court’s ruling which employers are “resident outside” of Minneapolis, although simply having an employee work some of his or her time within the city limits is likely not sufficient to subject an employer to the Ordinance. An appeal of the court’s order is expected, but for now, the other requirements of the Ordinance remain intact.
Ogletree Deakins • January 25, 2017
A challenge brought in state court by a coalition of business groups, employers, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce seeking a temporary injunction to prevent the Minneapolis Safe and Sick Time Ordinance (No. 2016-040) from taking effect on July 1, 2017, was partially successful. In an order issued on January 19, 2017, Hennepin County District Judge Mel I. Dickstein denied a broad injunction, finding that the city had authority to enact the ordinance, but he granted a temporary injunction preventing its application to employers that are not located within the territorial limits of the city of Minneapolis. The ruling is likely to be appealed by both parties to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and, eventually, to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Ogletree Deakins • October 17, 2016
Minnesota is one of several states that require all employers, both public sector and private sector, to grant time off with pay to employees to vote in the upcoming general election to be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
Ogletree Deakins • October 11, 2016
A 63-year-old employee, who had worked in an administrative capacity for her employer for 12 years, was told that her position had been eliminated due to a customer-commissioned audit of the company’s services and recommended that ABM streamline its staff. She sued and claimed, among other things, that her employer was obliged to find her a different position with the company. Affirming summary judgment for the employer, the Eighth Circuit held that no such duty existed under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Haggenmiller v. ABM Parking Services, Inc., No. 15-3107 (September 14, 2016).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • October 05, 2016
Minneapolis, Minnesota has amended the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance less than four months after it was enacted.1 The amendments come on the heels of neighboring St. Paul adopting its own paid sick leave law,2 and bring the Minneapolis Ordinance more in line with St. Paul’s requirements concerning frontloading, payment of employees when on leave, tracking accrual of available paid sick time, and recording required information.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • September 13, 2016
On September 7, 2016, Saint Paul became the second city in Minnesota to mandate that employers provide earned sick and safe time for their workers. Under Saint Paul’s ordinance (the “Saint Paul Ordinance”), covered employers must allow employees who work in Saint Paul to accrue one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours of sick and safe time each year.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 12, 2016
We have been reporting on the growing patchwork of paid sick leave laws now for over 3 years. The patchwork continues to fill in heavily on the west coast with state laws in both California and Oregon and 10 city ordinances scattered across California, Oregon and Washington. This summer Los Angeles and San Diego added their own patches to the quilt. To read more about these new laws, click here and here.
Ogletree Deakins • July 05, 2016
In an unexpected surprising broadening of employee rights under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held, on June 27, 2016, that an employee who is discharged for refusing to obey an employer’s directive that violates the act can sue for “damages normally associated with a wrongful-discharge cause of action” and not merely lost wages. Burt v. Rackner, Inc. d/b/a/ Bunny’s Bar & Grill, No. 12-CV-15-11477 (June 27, 2016).
Ogletree Deakins • June 23, 2016
On May 27, 2016, after more than six months of public discussion, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will require all employers in the city to provide paid sick and safe leave to most workers. This adds to the patchwork of five states, 23 cities, and one county with paid sick time laws already on the books.
Ogletree Deakins • June 09, 2016
A claim of an unfair discriminatory practice under the Minnesota Human Rights Act must be brought as a civil action or as a charge filed with a local commission or the Minnesota Department of Human Rights within one year after the occurrence of the discriminatory practice. However, the statute of limitations is suspended during the time a potential charging party and respondent are voluntarily engaged in a “dispute resolution process.”
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 05, 2016
On May 31, 2016, Mayor Betsy Hodges signed the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), an expansive paid leave measure. Under this Ordinance, starting July 1, 2017, employers must allow employees to accrue up to 48 hours of sick and safe time each year. Employers with six or more employees must provide paid sick and safe time, while smaller employers must at least provide unpaid leave. The Ordinance applies to private employers of all sizes, including employers with only one employee, as long one employee works within Minneapolis city limits.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 31, 2016
Minneapolis, Minnesota, has joined the growing list of U.S. cities mandating paid sick leave for employees working in the city.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 04, 2016
A federal appeals court in Minnesota has held that the Minnesota drug testing statute applies to an applicant tested in Minnesota, even though the applicant was being hired for a job in another state. Olson v. Push, Inc., No. 14-3160 (8th Cir. Feb. 22, 2016).
Ogletree Deakins • March 02, 2016
On January 20, 2016, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided Ford v. Minneapolis Public Schools, setting a six-year statute of limitations for certain employee whistleblower claims. The court held that the statute of limitations for a retaliation claim by an employee based on that employee’s reporting of violations of law is six years under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act (MWA).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 28, 2016
Minnesota’s Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are both preparing to enact local laws affording employees paid sick leave. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the St. Paul City Council have announced that the Council will convene a Task Force to discuss an ordinance mandating that all private and public sector employees be provided earned sick and safe time for working in Saint Paul.
Ogletree Deakins • May 14, 2014
In Gieseke v. IDCA, Inc., et al., No. A12-0713 (March 26, 2014), the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that “tortious interference with prospective economic advantage” is a viable claim under Minnesota law. In so holding, the court formally recognized a cause of action, which had existed in Minnesota since at least 1909, though the state’s appellate courts had used a variety of phrases through the years to describe it.
Ogletree Deakins • January 13, 2014
The Minnesota Supreme Court rang in 2014 with an employer-friendly decision on the at-will employment rule. On January 2, in Dukowitz v. Hannon Security Services (No. A11-1481), the state’s highest court held that the public-policy exception to the employment-at-will rule does not apply to an employment termination resulting from an employee’s application for unemployment benefits. This is a key holding for employers, as it signifies the court’s reluctance to further chip away at the common law employment-at-will doctrine.
Ogletree Deakins • June 07, 2013
Capping a tumultuous session, the 88th Minnesota legislature, on the final day of the 2013 session, passed a bill, S.F. 778, which was long sought by labor unions because it would give them the right to organize private family child care providers and home health care providers who work independently in their own businesses.