New work rules in Mpls., St. Paul set stage for battle at Legislature


A debate over who should control labor regulations like wages, sick leave and time off for new parents may be one of the top items on the Legislature’s agenda in 2017.

The idea of a state law that would prohibit cities from setting their own workplace standards began percolating among business groups and some lawmakers last year, as both Minneapolis and St. Paul passed new sick leave ordinances. But now, with those cities’ regulations set to kick in this summer — and Minneapolis leaders edging closer to passing a higher citywide minimum wage — the discussions about state regulation of local control have taken on a new urgency.

“They’ll have to deal with health care first, and transportation is a big issue that both sides are talking about as well as the governor,” said Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, a group that represents many of the state’s largest companies. “But uniform labor standards is something that should be in the top three.”


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