MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is suing the city of Minneapolis over its paid sick leave ordinance.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday night.
The city council unanimously approved the ordinance in May, which would require businesses with six or more workers to offer paid sick leave.
The push for paid sick time turned out workers of all kinds last spring, rallying together for change.
“There’s a lot of pressure for casual employees to work even though they may be sick. We need jobs, we need our income just like everybody else,” said nurse Charlotte Zabawa.
But even as the ordinance passed, opponents were saying that the city doesn’t have the authority to make this change.
“The city does not in fact have the ability to enact such an ordinance. In fact, this is the first time any city in Minnesota has enacted a labor requirement such as this,” said attorney Kathleen Harrell-Latham of Loop Legal.
Harrell-Latham is representing one of the plaintiffs in the case — the Minnesota Recruiting and Staffing Association. She said this is a state issue, not a city one.
“The ordinance is so overbearing and so robust in its reporting requirements it’s just unbearable to actually comply with it,” said Harrell-Latham.
Harrell-Latham said the ordinance is too expensive, too problematic and would not be practical for businesses.
In a statement, City Attorney Susan Segal countered by saying they’re confident they can defend this legal challenge from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
She added that the ordinance is critical in protecting the health and safety of Minneapolis workers, residents and visitors.
The ordinance is set to go into effect on July 1 of next year.
St. Paul and Duluth have considered similar ordinances as well.