First, the Task Force, continuing the discussion of last week, was not able to reach a consensus as to the amount of time a new employer, starting at some point in the future, would be allowed to operate before it would be required to be in compliance with an ESST ordinance. Both three and six months received an equal number of votes so the Task Force will simply forward to the City’s Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO) the suggestion that a ramp up period be provided, but with no specific request as to the time allowed.
Second, the Task Force debated whether employers and employees covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) would be covered by the ordinance. It was noted that virtually all jurisdictions around the country (states, counties, and cities) with earned sick and safe time ordinances have exempted from their respective ordinances employers and employees covered by a CBA. However, on a divided vote the Task Force will recommend to HREEO that the ordinance be drafted to include all such employers and provide no such exemption. This is a major departure from the norm and significantly increases the likelihood that employers will have to reopen negotiations with their unions on this issue.
Third, the Task Force examined so called “casual” employees who are typically not scheduled for a given shift and who work only when offered a particular job. Several examples of such employees were examined in both the healthcare and educational sectors. Some, but not all, of the other jurisdictions around the country have exempted casual employees from an ESST requirement. Ultimately the Task Force voted to include casual employees and not exempt them from any proposed ordinance.
It was noted that should the City Council decide to modify the recommendation to begin accruing sick and safe time from the recommended “first hour” of employment to instead “after 80 hours of employment” many truly casual workers would no longer be affected by any ESST ordinance. The Task Force’s vote to recommend that accrual start at the “first hour” was a significant departure from the averages seen in other jurisdictions around the country.
Finally, the Task Force began the debate, as time ran out, as to which employers and employees would be subject to the proposed ordinance. Three general cases were presented:
- Employers located in the City of Saint Paul whose employees work in the City of Saint Paul.
- Employers located in the City of Saint Paul but whose employees may or may not work in the City of Saint Paul.
- Employers not located in the City of Saint Paul, but whose employees may work in the City of Saint Paul.
Only Item 1 was discussed and the Task Force agreed that any proposed ordinance would apply to employers in this category.
The Task Force Co-Chairs are working with the City to determine if the Task Force can complete its work by May 17th or if an extension will be needed. More information on any additional meetings will be forthcoming.
As was discussed in the last blog entry, it is important to remember that the Task Force is merely forwarding recommendations to HREEO for a proposed ordinance. Then the City Council, through its normal engagement with citizens, employers, and others, may choose to significantly modify any recommendations. You can expect the Chamber to be an active participant in this process, strongly representing the voices of our members.