June 2018 Updates in Labor and Employment Law

Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance – July 1, 2018 Effective Date

Starting July 1, 2018, pursuant to the Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance, small Minneapolis businesses (100 or fewer employees) must pay employees a minimum wage of $10.25 per hour, while large employers’ increases to $11.25 per hour.  As you may recall, the $10.00 minimum wage requirement for large employers began on January 1, 2018.

New Duluth Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance

On May 29, 2018, the Duluth City Council adopted its own sick and safe time ordinance, establishing minimum standards for earned sick and safe time in the City of Duluth.  Effective January 1, 2020, the ordinance mandates that employers with 5 or more employees, provide employees 1 hour of earned sick and safe time for every 50 hours worked, up to 64 hours per year.  The ordinance applies to employees that perform work within the geographic boundaries of the City of Duluth for more than 50 percent of the employee’s working time in a 12-month period or are based in the City of Duluth and spend a substantial part of his or her time working in the city and do not spend more than 50 percent of their work-time in a 12-month period in any other particular place.  The ordinance does not apply to independent contractors, student interns, seasonal employers, or any person who is entitled to benefits or is covered by the Federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.   

No Accommodation Required for Employee Unable to Work Overtime

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided that the United States Parcel Service (“UPS”) was not required to accommodate an employee requesting to work no more than eight hours a day, when working overtime was found to be an essential function of his position.  Faidley v. United Parcel Serv. of Am., Inc., 889 F.3d 933 (8th Cir. 2018).

This is an important decision for employers that have positions in which working overtime is an essential function of the respective job.  If an employee requests an accommodation seeking to work no more than eight hours a day, employers should be very careful about denying such a request, unless it is an essential function of the position.  The decision regarding what constitutes an essential function of a position is a fact-intensive one, and courts within the Eight Circuit review factors such as “the employer’s judgment, its written job description, the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement, and the consequences of not requiring the incumbent to perform the function” in making such a determination. Along with including the overtime requirement in the applicable job description and any other job-related documents, employers should also be able to provide several explanations and examples regarding why working overtime is an essential function for the particular role.

If you have any questions about anything in this article, please contact Brent Kettelkamp at 952-921-4606 or bkettelkamp@seatonlaw.com or any of the Seaton, Peters & Revnew attorneys.

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