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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Long (DFL)

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Rep. Long introduces legislation to ensure workers receive the wages they deserve

Thursday, February 24, 2022

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, Rep. Jamie Long (DFL – Minneapolis) introduced legislation to ensure Minnesotans receive the wages that they deserve. The bill gives workers more control over their schedule and prohibits scheduling practices that may be used to exploit workers. 

“Minnesotans are working longer and longer hours with less rest,” said Rep. Long. “To level the playing field between employers and employees, my bill would protect workers from harmful scheduling practices and ensure they are paid fairly when asked to work excessive hours.” 

Minnesota is the only state in the nation that has a 48-hour workweek written into law. Rep. Long’s bill would reduce the workweek to 40 hours, which has been the federal standard for more than a decade. Employees covered by the legislation would receive overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a single workweek.  

Shorter workweeks are good for employers and employees alike. Research indicates that they can lower operational costs and health care premiums for employers, in addition to boosting productivity. Workers report that shorter workweeks increase morale, decrease child care expenses, reduce the need to take sick days, and allow them to maintain a better work-life balance.  

The bill also protects workers from being required to work a seven-day workweek without overtime. Current law allows Minnesotans to be scheduled to work seven days a week without overtime if they stay under a certain number of hours, effectively leaving them without a day off. Rep. Long’s legislation requires businesses to pay workers overtime if they work seven or more consecutive days. 

Current law also permits employers to schedule “clopening” shifts: back-to-back shifts that force workers to open the morning after working a closing shift. Rep. Long’s bill would limit this damaging practice. It allows workers to opt out of shifts if there is less than 11 hours between the two. If workers choose to take these shifts, they will receive overtime pay under this legislation.