The Working Families Agenda Gains Traction in Minneapolis

This week the Mayor and City Council voted to proceed with drafting a plan that would significantly impact employers’ rights to determine their employees’ schedules.  Under the plan as conceived currently, nearly every employer in the city would be required to provide employees with the following:

  • A minimum of a 14-day notice of their schedule.
  • If a schedule is changed within this 14-day period, the company must pay the employee 1 hour of pay.  This is called “predictability pay.”
  • Employees must be made aware of any changes to their schedule within 24 hours.
  • If a schedule is changed on less than 24-hour notice, the company must pay the employee the lesser of 4 hours or the duration of the shift.   
  • Employees must be given at least one day of rest per week, though they may waive this right.
  • Employers must allow employees a gap of at least 11 hours between shifts, though the employee may waive this right.
  • Employees may refuse to work more than 55 hours per week.
  • Employees have the right to request a flexible schedule and employers must consider the request.  

An identical proposal died quickly at the state level in this past legislative session, though I believe we can anticipate it lingering around the capitol for years to come.

It is difficult to envision anything positive or worthwhile for businesses stemming from this Working Families Agenda proposal.  While Minneapolis, which has a city council populated with at least one employment attorney whose livelihood is based on suing businesses on behalf of employees, might have the political wherewithal to pass such legislation, it would be hoped that less dogmatic governmental bodies would not entertain this sort of legislation.  If Minneapolis were to adopt the Working Families Agenda as proposed, however, employers in every major city and in certain states (e.g. California, New Jersey and Illinois) should familiarize themselves with the details of this plan as they might be next.  Minneapolis is likely merely a testing ground for this sort of model legislation.  If it receives traction here advocacy groups will seek to spread it to select cities and states.

 
 
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