Minneapolis Working Families Agenda Delayed for Study Until 2016. Proposed Earned Sick Time and Scheduling Restriction Ordinances May Impact Employers.

For employers in the city of Minneapolis, the Working Families Agenda could have a potential impact on businesses that staff and operate flexible scheduling patterns for varying customer activity. As cited in numerous media reports recently, many businesses opposed to the proposed mandates include small business owners, restaurants, hotels, retail, consumer services, grocery, service stations, and others. Additional information can be found online with the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce.

Supporters of Fair Scheduling and Earned Sick Time ordinances cite workers who have been forced out of jobs or have irregular/lost wages that burden working families. Their stories typically involve circumstances where where late scheduling changes force individuals to choose between work and addressing their own health issues or the various needs of their families. Read Mayor Betsy Hodges October 15 Statement Here.

 

Details of the Proposed Minneapolis Ordinances

Source: Workforce Fairness Coalition | Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce

Earned Sick Time

A proposal for an ordinance to mandate ALL employers to pay one hour sick leave for every 30 hours worked by an employee to use for mental/physical illness, medical care, care of family member with mental or physical illness, domestic abuse, or for inclement weather.

Additional Mandates

  • ALL businesses employing more than one employee must provide one hour of earned time off for every 30 hours worked – accrues immediately and entitled to use after 90 days.
  • Employers with over 21 employees must allow employees to accrue up to 72 hours (9 days sick time off) in a calendar year. Employers with fewer than 21 employees must allow employees to accrue up to 40 hours (5 days sick time off).
  • Employee not required to seek replacement for time off– employer may require notice when notice is reasonable, but never more than 7 days.
  • If shift trading is possible, employee may shift trade rather than use accrued time.
  • Unused hours off may be carried over from year-to year not to exceed above limits.
  • Establishes a pool of hours employees can access that carry over from one employer to another after leaving an organization.
Scheduling Restrictions

A proposal for an ordinance to mandate employers to post ALL employees’ schedules including “on-call shifts” 28 days in advance of the shift. ALL employers would be required to pay “predictability pay” for any change of schedule within 28 days.

Additional Mandates

  • ALL employers must pay “predictability pay” of one hour for each employer-initiated change to the posted 28-day schedule.
  • ALL employers must pay 4 hours of “predictability pay” or pay duration of the shift, whichever is less, if employers shortens or cancels shift with less than 24-hour notice.
  • ALL Employers must obtain consent of employee who ends and starts a shift with less than 11 hours rest in between, more than 55 hours in one week, or more than 6 days in a row – pay during these times must be time-and-a-half.
  • ALL employers must provide each new employee with schedule for first 28 days of work.
  • Employees can decline any hours not originally included in 28-day schedule. Employer must obtain written consent to add additional shifts and employees can volunteer for more hours through written consent only.
  • ALL employers must grant employees request for flexible working arrangement at any time if based on employees serious health condition, educational pursuits or second job, and caregiving.
  • ALL employers must offer current employees more hours before hiring new or temporary employee.
  • ALL employers must pay a retention premium to discourage zero hour schedules.

 

Where It Stands Today

As of November 2015, the 28-day scheduling mandate and earned sick leave proposal from the Working Families Agenda will be deferred for further study.  The Minneapolis City Council has decided to create a board of stakeholders (employers, employees, and other interest groups) to assist them in researching the effects of this bill. The council will now wait until spring to consider an ordinance (rather than adopt a measure by the end of the year) that would require employers to let workers accumulate paid time off.

The board tasked with the study, called the Workplace Regulations Partnership, will have 15 members, with three appointed by Mayor Betsy Hodges, two by Councilwoman Barbara Johnson and the rest by the Minneapolis council. The group must include representatives of workers (including low-wage workers), organized labor, employers (including large employers, small employers and immigrant-owned businesses), as well as from business groups and associations. It is to report to the council no later than February 24, 2016.

 

How This Impacts You

While the discussion has broadened to include a new board of diverse stakeholders to study the Working Families Agenda, the proposed ordinances have been tabled for now. The ordinance proposals will most likely come up again before the Minneapolis City Council in 2016.

We believe that every city of Minneapolis employer will have unique and compelling concerns to an ordinance that can be universally applied to all business types. To voice your ideas, concerns or to stay up-to-date with the latest news, we have listed resources for you below: