March 16, 2018

Minneapolis Working Families Agenda – How Will it Affect You?

Do you work in Minneapolis?  Do you own a business in Minneapolis?

If so, now is the time to become familiar with the Minneapolis Working Families Agenda.  The Minneapolis business community is mobilizing to let its voice be heard, as are employees.   You have until October 16, 2015, to submit your thoughts to the Minneapolis City Council, whether for or against the proposals.  Comments can be submitted to

What are the proposals?  They are divided into two categories: (i) Earned Sick Time, and (ii) Fair Scheduling.  Read below for the facts about these proposals, without the politics that surround this issue.  Note that these are the proposals as they existed on September 4, 2015.  The Minneapolis Mayor and City Council have indicated that, based on feedback they have received, these proposals may be modified before being finalized.  Final proposals likely will be issued in November 2015.

Earned Sick Time

The earned sick time proposal would apply to all employers, without regard to the number of employees, except when a collective bargaining agreement waives the law in clear and unambiguous terms.  An employer with an existing sick time or PTO policy that meets the minimum standards required in the proposal would not be impacted.

Accrual & Use of Earned Sick Time

  • Employees would earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, which can be used 90 calendar days following an employee’s first day of work.
  • Employees who work for employers with 21 or more employees can accrue up to 72 hours per year.  Employees who work for smaller employers can accrue up to 40 hours of sick time per year.
  • Unused hours carry forward from year to year, up to the maximum.
  • Employees may choose to trade shifts with another employee, rather than use accrued time.
  • Employees are not required to seek a replacement to cover shifts when they will be using earned sick time.


Employee Notice to Employer to Use Earned Sick Time

  • When use of sick time is foreseeable, employers may require employees to provide advance notice prior to using earned sick time – but the maximum amount of notice that may be required is 7 days.
  • An employer can require an employee to provide documentation for an absence of more than three consecutive days.


Permitted Uses of Earned Sick Time

  • Mental or physical illness, injury or health condition
  • Need to seek medical care (including preventative)
  • Domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking
  • Care of a family member for any of the above reasons
  • During weather or other emergency closure of an employee’s place of employment or a child’s school or care center.


Employer Notice of Rights to Employees/No Retaliation

  • Employers will be required to notify employees of their rights and benefits and will not be allowed to retaliate against an employee who exercises such rights.


Fair Scheduling [UPDATE: Shortly after posting this blog, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges issued a press release stating that the Fair Scheduling proposal would be dropped for now.  The Earned Sick Time proposal remains.]

The fair scheduling proposal also would apply to all employers, except when a collective bargaining agreement waives the law in clear and unambiguous terms.  Under this proposal:


  • Employees would need to be informed of their schedule 28 days in advance.  This includes on-call shifts.  *Note: Based on feedback from the business community, it appears this proposal will be changed to 14 days.
  • If a schedule change is made:

–   Employees must be notified within 24 hours of the change.

–   Employees can decline hours not included in their original schedule.

–   Employees must receive one hour of predictability pay for all employer changes after the schedule is posted.

–   If an employer changes a shift (including cancelling or shortening a shift) with less than 24 hours’ notice, employees must receive predictability pay of four hours or the duration of the shift, whicever is less.

–   An employer must receive written consent from an employee to add a shift or hours.

–   Employees can volunteer for additional hours in writing.

  • Employees have the right to request a flexible working arrangement, which request employers must promptly evaluate.  A request that is based on an employee’s serious health condition, caregiving obligations, educational pursuits or a second job, must be granted by the employer.
  • Before hiring new or temporary employees, employers must offer hours to existing employees.
  • Employers must pay a retention premium to discourage zero hours schedules.


Overtime Pay

  • Employees will be entitled to overtime pay for shifts that exceed eight hours in a day.
  • Employees must be paid time-and-one-half, and must consent to work when:

– scheduled to work with less than 11 hours between shifts;

– scheduled for more than 55 hours in a week; or

– scheduled more than six days in a row


Similarly-Situated Employees Must be Treated the Same, Without Regard to the Number of Hours Worked

  • Full-time and part-time employees with similar skills and responsibilities – regardless of the hours they are scheduled to work – must be treated the same in terms of wages, access to time off, and promotion.  Employers may pay different wages for other reasons, such as seniority, merit, responsibilities or production.


No Retaliation/Employer Burden of Proof

  • Employers cannot take an adverse action against an employee for exercising his/her rights or for helping others to exercise their rights.  An employer will bear the burden of proving that an adverse action within one year of protected activity was not retaliatory in nature.


Obviously, these proposals, if enacted, will have a significant effect on employers and employees in Minneapolis.  Stay informed and let your voice be heard!  Below are links that you may find useful concerning the Minneapolis proposals.


The Minneapolis Proposals as of 9/14/15

Additional Information regarding the proposals

Working Families Agenda presentation – Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce 8/20/15

Mayor Hodges Press Release About Working Families 4/2/15


Recent News Articles

StarTribune 10/14/15

City Pages 10/7/15

Kare11 10/7/15

Fox9 10/6/15