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By Anne M. Radolinski, Norah E. Olson Bluvshtein & Ashley R. Thronson

Last Thursday, a Hennepin County district court judge issued its first substantive ruling in the legal challenge to the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. The court largely denied the Chamber of Commerce’s request to halt enforcement of the ordinance but agreed that employers located outside of Minneapolis should not be subject to the regulation – at least during the pendency of the suit.

The ordinance, set to go into effect on July 1st, requires employers to offer paid sick and safe time to employees who work at least 80 hours per year within Minneapolis city limits. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce filed suit in Hennepin County district court in October, seeking to prevent – or at least delay – its enforcement. the chamber claimed that the ordinance is preempted by state law and amounts to overreaching by the city.

After being asked to make a preliminary decision on the issue, the court determined that the chamber was not likely to prevail on its preemption claims but likely would ultimately succeed in challenging the extraterritorial reach of the regulation. Accordingly, the court granted the chamber’s request to temporarily halt enforcement of the ordinance as to non-Minneapolis employers, but denied the remainder of the motion.

While this means that, for the time being, employers outside of Minneapolis can proceed as if the ordinance will not affect them (even if they have employees working at least 80 hours per year in Minneapolis), we encourage employers to continue monitoring this issue.

All Minneapolis employers, however, should begin or continue preparing for the ordinance’s implementation on July 1st. Please join us for a seminar on this and other paid leave issues or contact any Fredrikson & Byron Employment & Labor attorney with questions about these issues.

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