Minnesota enacts landmark legislation that leads the nation in promoting workplace fairness

Minnesota enacts landmark…

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz recently executed comprehensive and progressive reforms to labor & employment law passed by the Minnesota Legislature during the 2023 legislative session. This transformative legislation, SF3035, enacts numerous and important changes that go into effect soon:

  • Building on the paid sick and safe leave ordinances previously adopted by Duluth, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, requiring paid sick and safe leave across Minnesota such that employees accrue one hour of paid sick and safe leave for every 30 hours they work (and up to 48 hours each year) and, moreover, providing anti-relation protection to employees exercising their rights under this law;
  • Prohibiting noncompete and no-poach restrictions that limit employees’ ability to accept a job with a different company in the field in which they work while allowing the use of non-solicitation provisions to continue;
  • Empowering teachers to bargain to reduce class sizes, to improve staffing ratios, and to limit the use of so-called standardized testing – all of which enable educators to improve both the teaching and learning environments;
  • Creating a first-in-the-country standards board that establishes minimum wage rates and benefits for all employees working in the nursing home sector and, consequently, that will promote better working conditions and patient care through sectoral bargaining;
  • Codifying that general contractors are responsible for wage theft, whether by employee misclassification or otherwise, committed by any of their subcontractors in the construction industry;
  • Expanding the rights of pregnant women and new mothers to reasonable accommodations in the form of adequate breaks, enhanced lactation rooms, and sufficient leave time;
  • Banning “captive audience” meetings by which employers compel employees to attend anti-union presentations and any meeting about an employer’s religious or political views;
  • Improving the Packinghouse Bill of Rights by, for example, expanding the definition of employer, creating a right of action for the recovery of damages and attorney’s fees, and imposing enhanced financial penalties in other respects for employer violations; and
  • Addressing abusive warehouse practices by mandating that employers provide warehouse employees with written information about all applicable quotas and other performance standards and forbidding employers from taking disciplinary action based on an undisclosed quota or other performance standard.

Although this essential legislation does not prevent all employer misconduct, it still goes a long way toward making workplace fairness a reality for Minnesotans. Stay tuned as the law goes into effect and is enforced going forward.

Image Credit: MinnesotaReformer.com