Looking Good, Richfield!  Minnesota Court of Appeals Affirms Lower Court’s Temporary Ban on Enforcement for Employers Located Outside the City of Minneapolis

As we wrote about a few months ago, Minneapolis’s controversial Sick and Safe Time Ordinance wound its way through a second Minnesota court late this summer. The Minnesota Court of Appeals closely reviewed the Minnesota District court’s limited temporary restraining order prohibiting full enforcement of the ordinance against out of town employers. In a detailed opinion, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s restriction of enforcement against employers located outside the City of Minneapolis. However, this case is far from over. The case will now swing back to the trial court, again before the Honorable Mel Dickstein, for a full trial. That trial should occur sometime in the next 12 months.

In its late 2016 challenge to the ordinance, the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce raised a number of legal issues. In December 2016 (with no discovery and only limited briefing time), the trial court agreed with the Chamber on only one of its arguments for a temporary injunction; that the ordinance cannot be enforced against an employer outside of the city. The trial court rejected the Chamber’s other arguments seeking to prohibit enforcement of the ordinance against all employers, wherever located.  The Court of Appeals agreed, leaving the limited injunction in place, but sending the case back to the trial court to fully litigate the Chamber’s claim.

Although a number of the Chamber’s legal and policy arguments did not find immediate favor with the trial court, all of the Chamber’s claims are still in play. Those include whether the City has the legal authority to enact such a regulation and whether this type of regulation is, expressly or impliedly, pre-empted by State law. These issues will now proceed through the full litigation process before Judge Dickstein. If the case is not resolved before trial, we anticipate that Judge Dickstein will make his decision sometime next year. Regardless of the outcome, we also anticipate that Judge Dickstein’s decision will likely find its way to the appellate court once again.

So, for employers nothing has changed since Judge Dickstein’s first order in July, 2017; the ordinance is in full force for employers located within the physical city limits of the City of Minneapolis and is not in effect, at all, for employers located outside the City’s physical limits.  The ordinance otherwise took effect, subject to Judge Dickstein’s limitation, on July 1, 2017.

As always, we will keep you posted on significant developments as the case continues to wind its way through the Courts.  Until then, if you have any questions please contact Stacey DeKalb at 612.336.9310/ or Mike Glover at 612.336.1269/


July 2017

Are you an employer subject to the city of Minneapolis’ new ordinance?

On May 26, 2016 the City of Minneapolis adopted its unique version of a mandatory paid sick time ordinance calling it the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance.  As written, the ordinance is sweeping.  “Employer” is defined as broadly as possible to include any person or entity employing one or more employees.  “Employee” is defined equally as broadly to include anyone employed by an employer working at least 80 hours per year within the “geographic boundaries of the City” (I.e. physically located).

In very general terms, the ordinance grants an eligible employee one hour of paid time off for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 48 hours per year:  The ordinance does not apply to independent contractors.  Importantly, the ordinance also contains a nagging bookkeeping requirement for employers with employees who “occasionally perform work in the city.”  This section requires employers to track hours “worked in the city by each employee performing work in the city.” The ordinance’s looming effective date is July 1, 2017.

Continue reading the article by Mike Glover which appeared in the July 2017 Trucking Minnesota magazine.