Author

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.

Because of one word, Minnesota can’t issue refunds for overpaid unemployment tax

By: - June 3, 2022

They should have written “article” instead of “section.” After months of negotiations, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill on April 29 pouring $2.7 billion into the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, which had been drained by a record number of claims during the pandemic. Without that law, Minnesota businesses were set to suffer a 30% […]

Minnesota nurses attack hospital executive pay amid union negotiations

By: - June 1, 2022

The Minnesota Nurses Association has come out swinging against hospital executives as they negotiate new union contracts for some 15,000 nurses at 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth. Union nurses began picketing 11 Twin Cities hospitals on Wednesday — a day after their contracts expired — and launched a public ad campaign blaming […]

Planned Parenthood workers in five states announce intent to unionize

By: - May 26, 2022

Frontline health care workers at Planned Parenthood North Central States announced their intent to unionize on Thursday, saying they want higher wages, more staff and a greater voice in how the organization is run. “I spend my days listening to my patients and caring for them. I need to know my employer will do the […]

Senate Democrats call on Vikings owners to address wage theft claims

By: - May 26, 2022

Twenty-five Senate Democrats are calling on the Wilf family, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, to take “strong and swift action” in response to allegations of wage theft at their 200-acre development in Eagan. As first reported by the Reformer, more than two dozen workers say they’re still owed more than $100,000 in wages from two […]

Commerce Fraud Bureau to get new powers to investigate wage theft, other financial crimes

By: - May 25, 2022

Labor leaders are calling a bill that passed the state House and Senate on Sunday the most significant piece of legislation for combating wage theft since it was made a felony in 2019. The bill (HF 3255), which is awaiting Gov. Tim Walz’s signature, gives the Commerce Fraud Bureau new powers to criminally investigate financial […]

Mental health workers strike at three Twin Cities hospitals, citing unsafe working conditions

By: - May 24, 2022

Hundreds of mental health workers at three Twin Cities hospitals walked off the job on Tuesday to push for safer workplaces, higher wages and more staff. The one-day strike comes just months after more than 400 workers voted to unionize at M Health Fairview and two Allina hospitals, Abbott Northwestern and Mercy Hospital-Unity Campus. Workers […]

Former MN GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan received unemployment benefits after being ousted

By: - May 20, 2022

Former MN GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan, who was ousted from her leadership role last August amid allegations of leading a toxic organization rife with sexual harassment and bullying, has received more than $8,000 in unemployment insurance, according to a campaign finance disclosure she filed. Carnahan also reported receiving $125,006 from the Minnesota Republican Party last […]

Tenants withhold rent from hedge-fund owned HavenBrook Homes to force repairs

By: - May 19, 2022

Families renting from one of the state’s largest private landlords, HavenBrook Homes, have started putting their rent in escrow in an attempt to force the company to address numerous health and safety issues in their homes in north Minneapolis. Tenants of HavenBrook, which is owned by New York-based hedge fund Pretium Partners, say the company […]

Senate Republicans push for limiting wage theft penalties

By: - May 19, 2022

Tucked into the Senate’s massive end-of-session jobs bill (SF 4019) is a provision that would limit penalties against employers for wage theft. The proposal is unlikely to pass a Democratic-controlled House, which is resistant to altering the state’s wage theft law. When it passed in 2019, the law it was heralded as one of the […]

Minnesota launches pandemic assistance fund for homeowners

By: - May 17, 2022

Minnesota homeowners hurt financially by the pandemic can now apply for up to $35,000 in assistance for mortgage payments and other housing-related expenses through a new state program called HomeHelpMN. The program is funded with $109 million from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho announced […]

More than 400 mental health workers announce one-day strike at Allina and M Heath Fairview

By: - May 16, 2022

Just months after voting to unionize, more than 400 mental health workers at three Twin Cities hospitals say they’re prepared to strike for 24 hours on May 24 if they don’t reach a deal on their first labor agreements. At a news conference announcing the strike on Monday, workers from Allina and M Health Fairview […]

Labor advocates call on Twin Cities developers to agree to independent monitoring

By: - May 12, 2022

Workers and labor advocates are calling on the largest residential developers in the Twin Cities to take greater responsibility for preventing wage theft and other labor violations on their construction projects by signing onto a new independent monitoring program. Under the program, called “Building Dignity and Respect,” developers would sign legally-binding contracts to uphold basic […]