Overview of the Minneapolis Sick Leave Ordinance Court Battle

The Minneapolis Sick Leave Ordinance was passed in 2016. However, the law didn’t stand long without a challenge.

Shortly afterwards the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce challenged the law in court.

The challenge had two points of contention against the sick leave ordinance.

First, the ordinance included businesses located outside the city. The Chamber contested that the city council didn’t have the authority to make laws that outside businesses would have to abide by.  

Second, the Chamber claimed the ordinance overstepped on state sick leave law. Although Minnesota doesn’t have a specific preemptive sick leave law, the state does

The court upheld the city’s right to enact a sick leave ordinance, but placed a temporary halt on the city’s ability to govern businesses located outside the city. The Chamber appealed the decision to allow the city to require paid sick leave. The City appealed the decision that the ordinance would not apply to businesses outside the city.

The Court of Appeals Issues a Middle Decision

The Minnesota  Court of Appeals has upheld that split decision. It ruled that the city does have the authority to enact a sick leave law and that it doesn’t interfere with the state’s law.

Further, it also upheld that the city does not have authority to require sick leave compliance by employers who are located outside the city, but whose employees may work in the city on occasion.

This is vital for employers located in the county and other areas of the country.

The Chamber of Commerce President Doug Loon said the ruling was a mixed victory.

“We are pleased that the court prevented Minneapolis from imposing its ordinance on businesses that don’t even have a physical presence in the city. At the same time, we’re disappointed that the Court of Appeals allowed the underlying Minneapolis ordinance to stand.”

The Chamber stated after the decision that they plan to appeal this decision to the Minnesota supreme court.

The Future of The Sick Leave Ordinance

This ruling could affect St Paul’s sick leave ordinance by limiting St Paul’s reach to employers outside city limits. In addition, Duluth is also looking to pass a sick leave ordinance.

The new ordinance started on July 1, 2017. It provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Sick leave accrues at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. The ordinance applies to all employers with 6 or more employees.

The state legislature passed a preemptive bill earlier this year that would have stopped Minneapolis and St Paul from enacting their sick leave ordinances. However, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the bill.

Let SwipeClock Help

Businesses who have employees in St Paul or Minneapolis, and a growing list of other cities may have to comply with multiple conflicting City ordinances defining Sick leave accrual and usage laws.

Additionally, these businesses have to also comply with Federal Overtime Laws, the Family Medical Leave Act and any other national or local laws that are enacted. SwipeClock provides a comprehensive array of workforce management and time tracking tools that can help businesses to more easily stay in compliance with local and national laws.

Records are effortlessly kept for years and accrual is automatically tracked and reported to employees according to the state and city laws. Additionally, with geo-timekeeping clocks, businesses can effortlessly track time worked in specific cities to ensure compliance.

Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated on October 16, 2017.