Feel Good Minneapolis Wage-Theft Ordinance Could Undercut State Law

Minnesota just implemented the toughest wage-theft law in the nation for businesses that shortchange workers. But that’s not good enough for Minneapolis pols who insist on the need for a copy cat version of the same law that would only further add to bureaucracy, paperwork and cost of doing business in the city.

It’s so far over the top and duplicative of the state statute that the Star Tribune editorial board shot it down.

For example, the city proposal says that if an employee files a wage-theft claim against an employer and is fired within 90 days, the employer must prove that the termination was not an act of retaliation. But there are already provisions in state law that prohibit retaliation.

In a letter to city officials, a coalition of business groups said wage theft is “an abomination.” But the groups believe Minneapolis employers are still learning how to implement the state law and that added rules would make it more difficult for them to adapt.

So what’s the point of passing regulations that could actually be counterproductive? A few readers offered the same take in the comments section.

“Minneapolis needs the rules for the same reason it needs all of its rules:  it provides an opportunity for virtue-signaling by the members of the city council.”

“I suspect Minneapolis is just trying to act before the St. Louis Park City Council beats them to the virtue signaling.”

“Classic Minneapolis city council move, virtue signaling by duplicating a state law. “

Whatever the reason, it’s not too late for the Minneapolis City Council to take the advice of the paper that’s usually all too supportive.

Minneapolis officials should slow down, listen more closely to the concerns of mostly honest employers in the city and reconsider adding more rules on top of an already robust set of state wage-theft regulations and penalties.