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Minneapolis Scraps Scheduling Plan

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges

Following vocal opposition from the restaurant industry and others in the business community, Minneapolis is pulling its fair scheduling proposal off the table.

The policy would have required employers to provide employees with schedules 14 days in advance and provide “predictability pay” if they made changes after the schedule was posted. If a shift was canceled or shortened with less than 24 hours notice employers would have paid for four hours’ work or the duration of the shift, whichever was less.

An earned sick time proposal is still in the works. In a statement Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said she and council members will work to pass a stripped-down measure to “ensure earned sick and safe time and to protect against wage theft.”

Under that plan, all employees of Minneapolis businesses (except those with collective bargaining agreements containing exemptions) would earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked. For businesses with fewer than 20 employees, workers could earn up to 40 hours per year; those at larger businesses could earn a maximum of 72 hours per year. Unused days could carry over year to year but not carried from employer to employer.

Restaurant owners and other business leaders gathered for a Workforce Fairness Coalition meeting October 14 to applaud the removal of the scheduling component and commit to further study of the sick-leave agenda. Some expressed concern, calling the 72-hour accrual amount “the most aggressive in the country.”

“This issue is really better handled at the state level,” said Tim Ehlert, government relations director for Buffalo Wild Wings. He went on to question how employers would handle occasional employees who come from locations outside Minneapolis to work busy shifts. On game days, he said, Buffalo Wild Wings schedules 70 workers at its location next to TCF Bank Stadium, borrowing staff from sister locations.

“I think this is moving too quickly,” Ehler continued. “I think we should hit pause and have more conversation.”

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Wednesday, November 4, at 10 a.m. in the Minneapolis City Council Chambers (Minneapolis City Hall, 350 S. Fifth St.).

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