MN Supreme Court: State law does not preempt Minneapolis paid sick leave ordinance

The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld Minneapolis's requirement that employers provide sick and safe leave to workers, rejecting a legal challenge from business groups that had sued over the ordinance.

The decision was 5-2. 

Justice Natalie Hudson, writing for the majority, said the city's ordinance is not preempted by state law and does not violate the extraterritoriality doctrine, which prohibits governments from exerting authority outside their jurisdiction.

"The primary purpose and effect of the ordinance is to regulate sick and safe time for employees who work within the geographic limits of Minneapolis," the five justices said.

Chief Justice Lorie Gildea and Justice Barry Anderson dissented, writing that the effects of the ordinance extend beyond the Minneapolis borders in violation of the extraterritoriality doctrine.

The Minneapolis ordinance took effect in July 2017 and requires all employers with six or more workers to provide paid safe and sick leave. Paid leave accrues at one hour per every 30 hours worked, though employers may cap the benefit at six paid days off per year.

Gov. Tim Walz and Democrats in the Minnesota House have pushed for a paid sick leave law statewide, but the Republican-controlled Senate has opposed the change.