When the Minneapolis City Council raised the minimum wage for businesses in Minneapolis, it created a number of problems for employers with multiple offices, employers trying to compete with neighboring companies outside of Minneapolis, and other issues.
The Minnesota Legislature responded with legislation to prohibit towns, cities, counties, and other local government units from creating their own minimum wage. The law also prohibited local governments from requiring employers to provide paid or unpaid leave time. This intent behind this solution was to cut down on the red tape small businesses must sort through when navigating an inconsistent patchwork of labor standards across the state. This legislation sought to ensure that employers and people throughout the State of Minnesota were treated equally, without confusing differences between local government boundaries.
Here is the Minnesota House bill, which has not yet been enacted into law:
A bill for an act relating to employment; providing uniformity for employment mandates on private employers; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 181.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Section 1. TITLE.
This act shall be titled the “Uniform State Labor Standards Act.”
Sec. 2. [181.741] EXPRESS PREEMPTION; UNIFORMITY OF PRIVATE EMPLOYER MANDATES.
Subdivision 1. Definitions.
(a) For the purposes of this section, the terms defined in this subdivision have the meanings given them.
(b) “Employer” means a private person employing one or more employees in the state.
(c) “Local government” means a home rule charter city, statutory city, town, county, the Metropolitan Council, a metropolitan agency as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 5a, or a special district.
Subd. 2. Express preemption.
(a) A local government must not adopt, enforce, or administer an ordinance, local resolution, or local policy requiring an employer to pay an employee a wage higher than the applicable state minimum wage rate provided in section 177.24.
(b) A local government must not adopt, enforce, or administer an ordinance, local resolution, or local policy requiring an employer to provide either paid or unpaid leave time.
(c) A local government must not adopt, enforce, or administer an ordinance, local resolution, or local policy regulating the hours or scheduling of work time that an employer provides to an employee. This paragraph does not preempt an ordinance, local resolution, or local policy limiting the hours a business may operate.
(d) A local government must not adopt, enforce, or administer an ordinance, local resolution, or local policy requiring an employer to provide an employee a particular benefit, term of employment, or working condition.
Subd. 3. Local governments as employers and contractors.
This section does not regulate wages, hours, benefits, paid or unpaid leave, attendance policies, or other terms of employment or working conditions that a local government:
(1) provides to its own employee;
(2) requires an employer to provide to its employee to the extent that employer is providing goods or services to the local government, and the requirement applies specifically to work performed in providing goods or services to the local government; or
(3) requires an employer to provide to its employee to the extent that employer is receiving funding from the local government or is providing goods or services funded in whole or in part by the local government, when the requirement is an express condition of the funding.
This section is effective upon final enactment and applies to ordinances, local policies, and local resolutions enacted on or after January 1, 2016.