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.
Articles About Minnesota Labor and Employment Law.
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.
Earlier this month MIOSHA released a new Fact Sheet entitled Eyewashes and Safety Showers. Briefly, this Fact Sheet states the general requirement that:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Minnesota federal district court recently refused to enforce a non-compete agreement, in part, because the employer failed to establish that the agreement was supported by valuable consideration.
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.
The Minnesota Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion on August 9, 2017 in Friedlander v. Edwards Lifesciences, LLC, finding that the 2013 amendments to the Minnesota Whistleblower Act (“MWA”) abrogated the requirement that a report be made for the purpose of exposing an illegality in order to be protected under the statute. With the court’s narrow ruling in Friedlander, the purpose of an employee’s report is irrelevant to the determination of whether the report can be the basis of a whistleblower claim. In other words, an employee may not need to have been attempting to expose an employer’s suspected illegal conduct in order to bring a retaliation claim in Minnesota
All employers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, must pay their employees at least $15.00 an hour by July 1, 2024, under a minimum wage ordinance approved by the Minneapolis City Council on June 30, 2017. The ordinance applies to anyone who works in Minneapolis for any amount of time.
A Michigan appellate court denied an attempt by an employee to receive a severance jackpot based on a drafting mistake made by his former employer. Notwithstanding the employee’s entitlement, based on the terms of his separation agreement, to receive approximately $81 thousand dollars per week for 34 weeks, the State of Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision to reform the contract, resulting in the employee receiving a total of $81 thousand over 34 weeks. The case highlights, among other things, the importance of proofreading.
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.
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.