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Home / Insurance / Minnesota Legislators to Address Safety of Warehouse and Meatpacking Workers

Minnesota Legislators to Address Safety of Warehouse and Meatpacking Workers



Minnesota lawmakers on Wednesday introduced two separate bills that would address workplace safety issues for workers in the warehouse and meatpacking industries.

HB 36 addresses quotas for those working in warehouses for goods and mail order houses, and requires employers to put all work expectations, such as work speed requirements, in writing to employees and that bathroom breaks be taken into account when designing such quotas.

The bill states that if a particular workplace or employer is found to have an employee incidence rate that is 30% or more higher than the year’s average incidence rate for similar non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses in that industry, the state would initiate an investigation into violations.

HB 23 addresses job security for those working in the meatpacking industry and directs the state labor commissioner to appoint a meatpacking industry labor rights coordinator at the Department of Labor and Industry and provide the coordinator with necessary office space, furniture, equipment, supplies and assistance.

The bill also states that “a meat processing worker has the right to refuse to work under conditions which the worker reasonably believes would expose the worker, other workers or the public … (to) unreasonable risk of disease or injury or exposure to disease or injury, including the infectious disease known as covid-1

9.”

The bill also prohibits employers from retaliating against such employees who would be eligible for unemployment.


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