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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Barb Haley (R)

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Rep. Haley Legislative Update

Friday, June 28, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,


On July 1, a number of new laws will take effect in the State of Minnesota. One of them that may interest area business owners centers on wage theft.



The law makes wage theft a felony and punishes employers who retaliate against employees reporting such theft to the department. Five years in prison and a $10,000 fine are among the potential penalties.

Wage theft is defined as, among other things, when an employer “fails to pay an employee all wages, salary, gratuities, earnings, or commissions at the employee's rate or rates of pay or at the rate or rates required by law.”


I want you to know that I opposed these additional regulations on businesses. Of course, wage theft in never justified, but this is not something that our wonderful area employers engage in. With our opposition to the bill, we were able to significantly scale back the breadth of the original wage theft bill and decrease the penalties. Unfortunately, we all have to comply with these new mandates for the 1% of "bad actors" who commit wage theft.


So what will this law mean for business owners?


Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry has summaries available for the new wage theft law, which include frequently asked questions, guidance for employees and employers, and more. Check out the information by clicking here.



Two week ago, I spoke with the Cannon Falls Chamber of Commerce about session highlights and the work that was accomplished for small businesses. Yesterday I had a great time golfing at a Cannon Falls Chamber event. It was good to see so many friends from the area and learn more about the concerns small business owners are facing.

If you are a member of a chamber of commerce or any other local group and would like me to speak at your event about legislative happenings, please contact my office at or 651-296-8635.



Congratulations are in order for Minnesota State College Southeast as it has been awarded a

$441,952 grant from the National Science Foundation. This grant will build on the success that MSC Southeast has already had in creating high school partnerships that provide college credits, credentials, and internships in advanced manufacturing to students throughout southeast Minnesota.


This is great news as the Red Wing campus will benefit from the grant and the development of these advanced manufacturing opportunities. To learn more, click here.



As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding any issue, please contact me. You can reach me at or 651-296-8635.