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Conferees approve labor policy conference committee report

(House Photography file photo)
(House Photography file photo)

The labor policy bill is on the way back to the House and Senate floors.

Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and Sen. Jennifer McEwen (DFL-Duluth) sponsor HF3947/SF3852*, as amended. Conferees approved the report on a party-line voice vote Tuesday.

“I very much appreciate all of the work that people have put in, all of the time they have put in to get us this final bill,” McEwen said.

The conference committee approved most of the similar and same language in the report last week, and only had two provisions to finish Tuesday.

[MORE: Labor, industry conferees begin work on striking agreement]

Conference Committee on S.F. 3852 - Omnibus Labor and Industry policy provisions - 04/30/24 (Video courtesy Senate Media Services)

A Senate-only provision was approved that would make changes to an apprenticeship policy, including language to open training and on-the-job learning to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, public assistance status, or age.

It would also modify the apprenticeship program appeal process, update the definition of “journeyworker” and allow apprentice data sharing.

The committee approved House-only language that would prohibit noncompete restrictive employee covenants, preventing a company that provides services to a customer from restricting the customer from directly or indirectly soliciting or hiring one of its employees.

Proponents say many Minnesota employees don’t even know they are subject to shadow noncompete contracts or covenants that would be banned.

Rep. Emma Greenman (DFL-Mpls) successfully offered an amendment to exempt “workers providing professional business consulting for computer software development and related services who are seeking employment through a service provider with the knowledge and intention of being considered for a permanent position of employment with the customer as their employer at a later date.”

An amendment unsuccessfully offered by Rep. Andrew Myers (R-Tonka Bay) would have lowered the minimum wage percentage increase cap from 5% to 3.5%.


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