Workplace Mandate Bills Under Consideration at Legislature

FromTheDomeThe Minnesota Legislature is considering a series of bills that would mandate that employers provide certain benefits to their employees. These proposals include state-mandated paid time off policies, paid family and medical leave, minimum wage, and predictive scheduling. The Legislature will begin hearings on these bills this week. Businesses are encouraged to weigh in with our legislators with their thoughts on these issues. Additional details on the proposals under consideration and how to contact your legislators follows.

PAID FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE

HF 5 (Rep. Halverson, DFL): This bill creates an expansive, state-administered paid leave insurance program on all employers and employees including independent contractors. The bill mandates a 12-week paid family (maternity/paternity/bonding/caregiving) and a 12-week paid medical (serious health condition/pregnancy) leave program. Employees may access both types of leave in a 12-month period. It is funded through a payroll tax on employers and employees to partially replace wages during their absence. The tax rate and appropriations are as yet unspecified, but the tax is expected to be in the range of 0.27% – 0.4% and would be applied to the wages of both employees and employers.

This bill is scheduled to be heard this Wednesday, January 30 before the House Labor Committee. In our area, Rep. Jeff Brand (District 19A) sits on the Labor Committee.

You can see the MN Chamber’s one-pager on this issue here.

PAID SAFE & SICK TIME

HF 11 (Rep. Lesch, DFL): This bill is modeled after recently enacted ordinances in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth and would create a statewide mandate on all employers to offer at least one hour of paid sick & safe leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 48 hours annually. The bill does not exempt small businesses. However, there are carve-outs for collective bargaining agreements and the construction industry. Employers face much greater liability, stricter record-keeping requirements and stiff penalties for violations under the proposed legislation.

MINIMUM WAGE & PREDICTIVE SCHEDULING

While they have not yet been introduced, it’s expected that future legislation will propose a statewide minimum wage of $15 per hour and a predictive scheduling mandate that would require employers to provide employees with advance notice of their schedules. Employers would be subject to fines if they change employee schedules within certain time frames. Most similar laws require at least a 14-day notice for posting work schedules.

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR

Businesses are encouraged to contact our legislators on these issues as they will be impactful to business and it’s critical that our legislators understand the impacts as they consider the legislation. Our legislators are easily contact by email or phone. In the Greater Mankato area our legislators are:

If you live outside the Greater Mankato area, you can find your legislator here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Patrick Baker with Greater Mankato Growth (pbaker@greatermankato.com or 507-385-6657) with any questions about this or any other issue.

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