Minneapolis plans to enforce sick-leave rules on businesses based outside city

That's provided an employee spends at least 80 hours a year working inside city boundaries.
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After winning a legal challenge against its "sick and safe time ordinance," the City of Minneapolis now plans to enforce the rules on businesses based outside of city limits.

Under a proposal released Wednesday, employers based outside of Minneapolis – but who have employees who work more than 80 hours a year within city limits – must comply with the city's sick time law.

The law, which went live in July 2017 but had not been fully enforced due to a legal challenge that recently failed, states that employers with 6 or more employees must provide "sick and safe time" for employees accruing at a rate of one hour for every 30 worked, which can be capped at 48 hours a year.

Those employing five of fewer workers must also provide sick-leave, but it can be unpaid.

Now with the Court of Appeals ruling in the city's favor, Minneapolis plans to expand the sick-leave program so that it protects city full and part-time workers employed by companies based outside of Minneapolis.

The city is seeking feedback on a proposal that would obligate companies to provide sick-leave if they have employees who work more than 80 hours a year within Minneapolis city limits.

"Employers based outside of Minneapolis will be subject to enforcement after the rule changes take effect," the city says.

The sick and safe leave time can be used for a worker's own illnesses, to care for a sick family member, to deal with issues caused by domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, and to care for a child in the event of an unexpected school or daycare closure.

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In the Court of Appeals ruling, a judge wrote that even though the ordinance can affect non-Minneapolis employees, because it's only a requirement for employees who work in Minneapolis, it "operates solely within the city" and therefore does not contravene state law.

The Star Tribune notes that the city had been sued by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, which had argued that because state law already covers paid leave, Minneapolis should be prevented from adding additional requirements.

Those wishing to comment on the change to the ordinance can make their comments to sicktimeinfo@minneapolismn.gov through June 7.

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