Work & Money

Lawsuit continues against racial preference in MPS teacher layoff policy — and other labor news

BY: - December 8, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond.  A lawsuit challenging a new policy that would shield Minneapolis teachers of color from seniority-based layoffs will proceed after the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a lower court’s decision to throw out the case.  The policy […]

Construction contractor sentenced to 2 years probation following worker injury

BY: - December 4, 2023

The owner of a Twin Cities area construction company was sentenced on Monday to 20 days of electronic home monitoring and two years of probation for insurance fraud in a case highlighting the common exploitation of workers in the residential construction industry. Nelson Israel Lopez Giron, 35, was sentenced in Hennepin County District Court after […]

Twin Cities metro sends money to rural counties

BY: - December 4, 2023

A common refrain from Minnesota Republicans goes something like this: Rural communities are overtaxed, underfunded and ignored by legislators. Greater Minnesota sends their tax dollars to the Twin Cities, where metro residents benefit from government programs. At a Nov. 15 event in New Ulm, Republican State Sen. Gary Dahms repeated the sentiments that have fueled […]

Health care unions fight stagnant pay and rising burnout — and other labor news

BY: - December 1, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond. More than 350 Essentia Health nurse practitioners and other advanced practice providers could vote to unionize with the Minnesota Nurses Association after workers filed a petition for an election with federal labor regulators on Monday. The group includes […]

DFL lawmakers to introduce cap on families’ child care costs

BY: - November 30, 2023

A contingent of DFL lawmakers plan to introduce legislation next year capping child care costs at 7% of household income for all families making less than 150% the state median income.  For example, a family of four making less than $176,000 per year would spend no more than $12,320 on child care in a year.  […]

Worker fired for pregnancy received $97,500 in settlement with Minnesota Human Rights Department

BY: - November 29, 2023

A Minnesota dental office paid a former worker $97,000 for illegally firing her for being pregnant as part of a settlement with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the agency announced on Wednesday. In December 2020, Christina Vescio-Holland told her employer, PL Dental in Coon Rapids, that she was pregnant with twins and that her […]

Twin Cities has higher employment in living-wage jobs compared to other metros

BY: - November 27, 2023

Twenty percent of workers in the Twin Cities metro are seeking, but unable to find, a living wage, according to an economic research group. That’s slightly better than the national average of 22.7%.  The rate highlights a segment of the population that is technically employed but doesn’t earn enough to survive. The “true unemployment rate” […]

Wage theft cases remain unresolved years later — and other labor news

BY: - November 24, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond. Two years ago Javier Mendez Velasco and dozens of other construction workers on the Viking Lakes development in Eagan filed wage theft complaints with state regulators. Velasco, who worked for the subcontractor Property Maintenance & Construction, estimates he’s […]

Pentagon: National security depends on ‘forever chemicals’ like those made by 3M

BY: - November 21, 2023

The Department of Defense relies on hundreds, if not thousands, of weapons and products such as uniforms, batteries, and microelectronics that contain PFAS, a family of chemicals linked to serious health conditions. Now, as regulators propose restrictions on their use or manufacturing, Pentagon officials have told Congress that eliminating the chemicals would undermine military readiness. […]

mall photo retail

Retailers pare back their seasonal hiring to prepare for ho-hum holidays

BY: - November 20, 2023

Black Friday shoppers may notice longer lines and fewer retail associates in some of their favorite stores than in past holiday seasons as retailers scale back seasonal hiring over concerns about consumer spending. JCPenney is hiring 12,000 fewer workers than last year. Macy’s 3,000 fewer. Meanwhile a Walmart executive said the retail giant has been […]

Sugarland: Inside Minnesota’s massive, powerful sugar industry

BY: - November 17, 2023

This story was made possible by a grant from Center for Rural Strategies and Grist. EAST GRAND FORKS — The sugar beets are scattered like gray, misshapen rocks on the shoulders of the roads leading to East Grand Forks. That’s the first sign that the October harvest is underway.  Then there’s the smell — earthy, […]

Government tax subsidies go to construction contractors with labor abuse records

BY: - November 17, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond. North Star Policy Action, a union-backed Minnesota think tank, documented 33 construction projects that have received over $84 million in taxpayer subsidies while employing contractors tied to proven or alleged worker exploitation.  For example, they look at Absolute […]