Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Labor, industry conferees begin work on striking agreement

Co-chairs of the labor and industry policy bill conference committee — Sen. Jennifer McEwen and Rep. Michael Nelson — confer during the April 25 meeting. (Photo by Michele Jokinen)
Co-chairs of the labor and industry policy bill conference committee — Sen. Jennifer McEwen and Rep. Michael Nelson — confer during the April 25 meeting. (Photo by Michele Jokinen)

With only a few major differences between House and Senate language in the labor and industry policy bills, HF3947/SF3852*, conferees walked through side-by-sides and began discussions on Thursday toward approving a conference committee report.

Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and Sen. Jennifer McEwen (DFL-Duluth) are the sponsors.

Conferees quickly adopted all the same and similar language provisions in the bill. Of the five differences, the committee adopted Senate language for two sections and House language on a third before going into recess.

The Senate-only language includes rules that would establish minimum nursing home employment standards to protect the health and welfare of nursing home workers, and to ensure that nursing home workers are properly trained about and fully informed of their rights by Nov. 1, 2024. Current language puts the deadline at Aug. 1, 2024.

Conference Committee on S.F. 3852 - Omnibus Labor and Industry policy provisions - 04/25/24 (Courtesy Senate Media Services)

The committee also adopted Senate language that would prohibit the Department of Labor from increasing the minimum wage rate based on inflation. The House version would have left this language alone.

The bill would add an oral fluid test as another valid and quicker means for an employer to test a job applicant for drugs or alcohol, using the House bill language.

An oral fluid test uses a saliva sample to measure the presence of drugs, alcohol, cannabis, or their metabolites with the same, or better, accuracy as existing lab programs. If the oral test comes back positive, inconclusive or invalid, the applicant must undergo further testing using the services of a laboratory within 48 hours of the oral fluid test to remain eligible for the job.

[MORE: Committee sends labor policy bill to the House Floor]

Rep. Andrew Myers (R-Tonka Bay) unsuccessfully offered four Republican amendments that would have:

  • phased in a minimum wage rate hike;
  • removed the section dealing with credit card gratuities;
  • modified language to place up to a 2% fee on employees receiving credit card gratuities; and
  • given employers up to five days to respond to employee records requests.

Differences yet to be ironed out include a Senate-only modification of an apprenticeship policy and a House-only provision that would prevent a company or partnership that provides services to a customer from restricting the customer from directly or indirectly soliciting or hiring one of its employees.

Related Articles

Priority Dailies

Ways and Means Committee OKs proposed $512 million supplemental budget on party-line vote
(House Photography file photo) Meeting more needs or fiscal irresponsibility is one way to sum up the differences among the two parties on a supplemental spending package a year after a $72 billion state budg...
Minnesota’s projected budget surplus balloons to $3.7 billion, but fiscal pressure still looms
(House Photography file photo) Just as Minnesota has experienced a warmer winter than usual, so has the state’s budget outlook warmed over the past few months. On Thursday, Minnesota Management and Budget...

Minnesota House on Twitter