Court Confirms Minneapolis Sick Leave Ordinance Not Enforceable

DMEC StaffLegislative Updates

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

By Megan G. Holstein

Jackson Lewis P.C.

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’ 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.

Meanwhile, the State of Minnesota has tried to stop the Minneapolis ordinance and the City of Saint Paul’s paid sick leave ordinance by proposing a state-wide bill that would preempt local governments from passing wage and benefit ordinances, such as these cities’ paid sick leave laws and Minneapolis’ minimum wage ordinance. The preemption bill has been introduced unsuccessfully in the last three legislative sessions, leaving Minneapolis’ and St. Paul’s paid sick leave laws intact for now.

Jackson Lewis monitors state and local wage and benefits laws, including paid sick and family leave laws. We regularly assist employers in creating comprehensive, multi-state compliance programs, taking into consideration federal, state, and local laws that may cover an employee’s single absence.

***This article originally appeared on the Jackson Lewis’ Disability, Leave & Health Management blog and was reposted on the DMEC website with their permission.***