Minnesota Recruiting and Staffing Association Revs Up Its Public Policy Efforts
The Minnesota Recruiting and Staffing Association (MNRSA) is not a novice when it comes to defending the interests of their members. The organization has had a presence at the Minnesota Legislature since the late 1990’s. However, during the past year in particular, decisions made by local, state and national regulators and elected officials have made the staffing industry even more vulnerable to disruption.
So MNRSA doubled its efforts to implement an even stronger advocacy effort that resulted in over 370 hours of testimony at the Minnesota legislature, at the Unemployment Insurance (U.I.) table, and at the city halls of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Led by Board Director Kathleen Harrell-Latham and lobbyist Todd Hill, MNRSA became recognized as one of the lead organizations at the Capitol pushing back on the Senate’s so-called Family Medical Leave Act and keeping it from advancing to the House. The statewide paid sick leave program would have created a new level of bureaucracy to administer the program and ignored the fact that 75% of Minnesota businesses have adopted, or plan to adopt, paid time off policies. MNRSA worked closely with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and Minnesota Business Partnership preparing testimony and developing strategies to demonstrate how recruiting and staffing companies would be uniquely impacted because their core workforce is different and distinctive.
Much of 2016, was spent speaking on behalf of the staffing industry at the city halls of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Working with a coalition of business associations and chambers of commerce, MNRSA was able to defeat the Fair Scheduling Act that would have required employers to give a 14 to 21-day advance notice of work schedules.
However, despite the concerns of employers, the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul passed paid sick time ordinances, each going into effect July 1, 2107. In Minneapolis, the ordinance requires companies with six or more employees to provide paid sick and safe time to all employees who work within the city limits at least 80 hours within a year. Companies must comply with the ordinance even if they do not have a location in the city. The City of Saint Paul’s ordinance, while similar to the Minneapolis, requires all companies regardless of size to comply.
In October, MNRSA joined the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit challenging Minneapolis’ paid sick time ordinance. The action challenges the ordinance as unlawful on the grounds that it conflicts with existing state law. The action also asks the judge to prevent Minneapolis from enforcing the ordinance.
The lawsuit parallels efforts by MNRSA, the Minnesota Chamber and other business associations at the Legislature to make explicit the fact that state law preempts municipal regulation of wages and benefits. MNRSA will renew its efforts in 2017 following legislative inaction this year.
For more information about MNRSA, visit www.mnrsa.org