Not a Member? Get access to HR news and resources that you can trust.
The raw emotions of a polarized electorate are taking a toll on employee relations. How can HR promote peace?
Is your employee handbook ready for the New Year? With SHRM’s Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Get the HR education you need without travel expenses or time out of the office.
Elevate Your Talent Strategy. Join us in Chicago, IL – April 24-26, 2017.
Paid leave bills advance and mobile phone hands-free bill introduced
Employers with employees in Minnesota—and in particular, those with employees in the cities of Minneapolis and/or St. Paul—may be interested in the status of several bills that have been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature addressing the issue of paid leaves of absence, including safe and sick leave.
Bills have been introduced in the Minnesota House (H.F. No. 600) and Senate (S.F. No. 580) to preempt the safe and sick leave ordinances enacted last year by the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which are scheduled to take effect on July 1.
Both bills have cleared initial review in one or more committees and appear to be on track for passage in their respective chambers. However, it is likely that a free-standing preemption bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature would be vetoed by Democratic Governor Mark Dayton.
More Leave Bills
Also in the legislature are several bills (H.F. No. 239, H.F. No. 1013, and S.F. No. 830) that would provide for various types of paid leaves of absence, including paid family leave and paid safe and sick leave.
In the case of paid family leave, the bills would create a funding mechanism similar to that of the unemployment insurance tax system. They would provide paid leave benefits for up to 12 weeks and would be administered by the state of Minnesota. No funding mechanism was provided, however, for safe and sick leave in the initial drafts of the bills.
None of these bills address preemption of municipal ordinances. Thus, at some point in the session, it is possible that the preemption bills (H.F. No. 600 and S.F. No. 580) and the paid leave bills could be presented to the governor as a single bill that would extend paid safe and sick leave and paid family leave to all Minnesota employees on a uniform basis and preempt municipal ordinances on the same subjects.
On a different topic, employers may wish to pay attention to a Minnesota bill (H.F. No. 340) that would prohibit the use of a "wireless communications device" while operating a motor vehicle.
Prohibited activities would include composing, reading or sending an electronic message; dialing, answering or talking on a cellular phone; and otherwise making a cellular phone call unless the actions could be performed on a hands-free basis. Currently, under Minnesota law, it is unlawful to text while driving or operating a motor vehicle. This bill extends the prohibition to phone calls. If it becomes law, the bill would apply to all drivers in the state of Minnesota.
H.F. No. 340's restrictions would be similar to those currently imposed on the use of handheld cellular phones and similar devices for commercial truck drivers under federal motor carrier regulations. This bill has not yet been reported out of committee.
Bruce J. Douglas is an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Minneapolis. © Ogletree Deakins. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
CA Resources at Your Fingertips
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies