Minnesota Governor to Veto Paid Sick Leave Preemption Bill

Minnesota DFL Governor Mark Dayton said he would veto the Uniform Labor Standards Act, the bill passed by the Minnesota legislature which would preempt municipalities from enacting a sick leave law, among other employment regulations.  In a statement, the Governor said, in part: “It is unconscionable that Republican legislators would pit the earned financial security of hardworking state employees and retirees against the rights of local officials to make the decisions for which they were elected by their citizens….”

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MN Governor Mark Dayton

Since the bill did not pass either chamber by a two-thirds margin—the margin needed to override the Governor’s veto—the veto effectively kills the preemption bill. The bill would have voided the Minneapolis and St. Paul Sick and Safe Time ordinances, both scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2017.

The Governor’s veto does not end the Minnesota PSL Melee, described here. His veto leaves the fate of the Minneapolis and St. Paul PSL ordinances in the hands of the judicial system.  In mid-January 2017, a Hennepin County District Court enjoined implementation of the Minneapolis ordinance with regard to employers located outside of the city’s geographical boundaries but denied the injunction with regard to employers within those boundaries.  My post about that decision is here. An appeal of that decision is pending in the Minnesota Appellate court.  The outcome of that appeal would also likely affect Duluth, where an Earned Sick Leave Task Force has been studying the issue and holding hearings in anticipation of making a PSL recommendation to the City Council.