City deserves better labor laws

Daily Editorial Board

Aproposal for a new city ordinance, if passed, would require businesses in Minneapolis to schedule employees at least 28 days in advance. Some people feel that the provision is commonsensical, but others feel it is much too strict.
 
Under the new ordinance, businesses would also have to provide paid sick leave and overtime pay for shifts exceeding eight hours. They would also need to compensate workers for last-minute schedule changes. A key point is that paid sick leave would include absences due to family emergencies, sexual assault and mental illness, among other potential work conflicts. These are of particular importance to struggling University of Minnesota students, who shouldn’t have to fear losing their jobs for the aforementioned reasons. 
 
Still, some are against the proposal, such as president and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce Todd Klingel, who claims that instating such measures will be costly and will take away the necessary flexibility that many businesses require to stay competitive. 
 
We are generally in favor of the proposal, but we are perplexed by the reasoning surrounding why all businesses would have to schedule employees’ shifts nearly a month in advance. We especially support requirements for overtime pay, paid sick leave and compensation for last-minute changes, but we feel that the Minneapolis City Council should work with the local business community to find a middle-ground regarding scheduling. Large events such as Gopher sports and Vikings games can wreak havoc with determining necessary staff, and ordinances must take this into account.