Minnesota Legislative Update
By Kevin M. Mosher • Jun 8, 2018
The Minnesota legislator adjourned its 2018 regular session on May 20, 2018, and while the legislators did not create many waves in the employment and labor field, there are some noteworthy bills and developments that may resurface and be implemented in the next legislative session.
The most noteworthy bill, proposed late in the 2018 session, suggests a change to the Minnesota Human Right’s Act’s definition of sexual harassment. The new definition eliminates the decades-old “severe or pervasive” review in order to bring a sexual harassment case to court replacing it with a new definition: “An intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment does not require the harassing conduct or communication to be severe or pervasive.” While this bill did not pass this session, it is possible and likely that it will be reintroduced next session for further discussion and debate. [HF4459/SF4031]
Another bill that was introduced but failed to pass before the session ended suggests additional language to Minn. Stat. § 181.173 prohibiting an employer from seeking wage history or information about past wages of an employee or prospective employee and from requiring a prospective employee’s prior wage or salary history meet a certain criteria. [SF2716/HF2913]
Legislation was enacted to change working restrictions under Minn. Stat. § 181A.04, subd. 6, from a person under the age of 18 to, now, high school students. The new statute does not apply to high school students ages 18 or older. A high school student under 18 can work during restricted hours if they supply a note from their parent/guardian. [SF1457/HF1204]
MINNESOTA JUDICIAL UPDATE
There are also a couple of Hennepin County Court orders on recent legislation that is worth noting. While these orders are subject to appeal by the parties, it is important for employers both in Minneapolis and outside of the city limits to take note of the final outcome.
Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance that took effect July 1, 2017, has recently received clarification from a Hennepin County District Court that limits the ordinance’s application to employers that are within the geographic boundaries of the City of Minneapolis.
Another Hennepin County District Court issued an order finding Minneapolis’ $15 minimum wage ordinance valid and not conflicting with Minnesota’s Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes a lower statewide minimum wage. This ordinance does affect employers with employees working within Minneapolis for two or more hours in a given week, even if the employer is located outside of Minneapolis.
Our next webinar on June 21st, 2018, will cover the Mid-Year Legislative Update. Click Here to register. If you would like to discuss the impact on your business that the legislation or judicial orders noted above or others you have been tracking, please contact Thompson Coe at (651) 389-5000 or visit myHRgenius@thompsoncoe.com.
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