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City of Minneapolis Releases Draft FAQs for its Sick and Safe Time Ordinance

On March 15, the City of Minneapolis issued new guidance in the form of draft FAQs regarding its Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, scheduled to take effect July 1, 2017. The FAQs – posted online – provide some insight into the City’s interpretation of the ordinance and its enforcement priorities. The City will accept comments about the draft-form FAQs from the public until Saturday, April 15.

The development occurs amidst legal challenges against the ordinance from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. A Hennepin County court recently issued a temporary injunction in that matter prohibiting the City from enforcing the ordinance against employers that reside outside Minneapolis’ geographic boundaries. The lawsuit, currently on appeal challenges the overall validity of the ordinance. However, the Court rejected those arguments and instead issued the above-described temporary injunction barring enforcement against non-Minneapolis-located businesses and held that the ordinance is not preempted by state. Seeking expedited review in light of the impending effective date, the Chamber appealed this holding but both the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court denied the request.

“Employers shouldn’t expect a final decision to get worked out rapidly,” said Lisa Schmid, Nilan Johnson Lewis employment attorney who has been advising clients on this issue. “The case will proceed through the appellate process at the usual pace, meaning the ordinance will almost certainly go into effect on July 1, 2017 for Minneapolis-located companies.”

Given that the validity of the ordinance may not be determined for some time, Schmid recommends that companies with locations in Minneapolis prepare to comply with the ordinance as of July 1. To learn more about this topic, contact Lisa Schmid at 612.305.7549 or

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