Fifteen business owners, workers, and business and labor organization leaders have been tentatively approved as members of a group that will propose a citywide sick-leave ordinance in Minneapolis.
The nominees for the Workplace Regulations Partnership were selected by Mayor Betsy Hodges and members of the City Council from a field of 80 applicants. If their nominations are formally approved in a council meeting on Friday, they’ll begin working on a recommendation that will be submitted to the city by late February. The group’s meetings will be public.
The partnership’s launch follows two months of controversy over Hodges’ Working Families Agenda, a plan also supported by some council members. That package of workplace reforms initially included proposals about both more predictable scheduling and paid sick leave, but the scheduling piece was dropped after intense pushback from businesses.
Hodges and council supporters opted to go forward on a sick-leave ordinance. In its initial draft, the proposal covered all employers, who would be required to offer up to 40 or 72 hours of sick leave to their workers each year, depending on the size of the business.
Council members initially squabbled over what type of representatives should be included in the new group. But in a committee meeting Wednesday, several said they were content with the slate of nominees. The list was narrowed via private conversations, not in a public meeting.
Council Member Andrew Johnson said the nominees provide a “balanced” panel to consider an issue he sees as a major injustice in Minneapolis. He noted that a large number of the people currently without sick time are low-wage workers.
Other council members expressed interest in the panel hearing from specific groups, including immigrant businesses.
Three of the nominees for the Workplace Regulations Partnership were picked by Hodges — Liz Doyle, associate director of TakeAction Minnesota; Jim Rowader, vice president and general counsel of employee and labor relations at Target, and Danny Schwartzman, owner of Common Roots Cafe and Catering.
Council President Barb Johnson nominated Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, and Wade Luneburg, secretary and treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 17, a hospitality union.
The council’s 10 nominees are Susie Brown, public policy director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits; Faisal Mohamud Deri, Experis Risk Advisory Services; Brian Elliott, executive director, Service Employees International Union; Dayna Frank, owner of First Avenue; Molly Glasgow, Twin Cities Metro Independent Business Alliance; Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation; Ron Harris, community organizer, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change; Tony Lacroix-Dalluhn, Abbott Northwestern Hospital; Guillermo Alexander Lindsay, fast-food worker, and Christopher Pennock, employee, ZEROREZ of Minnesota.
The council will formally vote on the nominees Friday and later release a schedule of the group’s meetings.