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UPDATE: Court Holds Minneapolis Paid Sick Leave Shouldn’t Apply to Outside-the-City Businesses

The City of Minneapolis’ paid sick leave ordinance, approved by the city in mid-2016 and slated to take effect July 1, 2017, is moving ahead as scheduled for employees of companies located in Minneapolis. However, on January 19, 2017, Hennepin County Judge Mel Dickstein issued a temporary injunction that prevents extraterritorial application of the ordinance, meaning that application of the ordinance to companies located outside of Minneapolis—whose employees occasionally work within Minneapolis—has temporarily been halted. The injunction was originally requested by the plaintiffs, including the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, on the grounds that the ordinance—which grants sick time to any full-time, part-time, or temp worker performing 80 or more hours in the city per year—was preempted by Minnesota state law. Judge Dickstein chose not to nullify the mandatory leave policy on preemption grounds, and instead, temporarily struck its applicability to outside-the-city employers. “A full hearing on the merits of the ordinance is yet to occur, but the plaintiffs have already indicated they plan to appeal the holding that the ordinance is not preempted by state law, and the order halting extraterritorial application is only a temporary injunction, so the status of the ordinance is still in flux,” said Lisa Schmid, labor and employment attorney with Nilan Johnson Lewis, who has been helping companies sort out compliance issues with the new ordinance. “I think the court’s ruling is an admission of the fact that requiring compliance with the ordinance for outside-the-city employers is just too great. It’s easy to imagine all sorts of slippery scenarios – out-of-town individuals attending conferences, repair or delivery services coming into the city for limited periods of time, telecommuters for companies out of the market.” Schmid says regardless, organizations located in Minneapolis should still plan to comply with the ordinance, and companies outside of Minneapolis whose employees work within Minneapolis should continue to monitor the situation closely, as they may yet have to comply with the ordinance after it works its way through the legal process. Contact Lisa Schmid to discuss the new proposed ordinance at 612.305.7549 or For media inquiries, contact Callie Summers at 651.789.1267 or

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