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SF 207

1st Engrossment - 93rd Legislature (2023 - 2024) Posted on 10/25/2023 10:49am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to labor; providing safe workplaces for meat and poultry processing
workers; requiring a report; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes
2022, section 182.654, subdivision 11; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 179.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [179.87] TITLE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 179.87 to 179.8757 may be titled the Safe Workplaces for Meat and Poultry
Processing Workers Act.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [179.871] DEFINITIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin For purposes of sections 179.87 to 179.8757, the terms in
this section have the meanings given.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Authorized employee representative. new text end

new text begin "Authorized employee representative"
has the meaning given in section 182.651, subdivision 22.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Commissioner. new text end

new text begin "Commissioner" means the commissioner of labor and industry
or the commissioner's designee.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Coordinator. new text end

new text begin "Coordinator" means the meatpacking industry worker rights
coordinator or the coordinator's designee.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Meat-processing worker. new text end

new text begin "Meat-processing worker" or "worker" means any
individual who a meat-processing employer suffers or permits to work directly in contact
with raw meatpacking products in a meatpacking operation, including independent contractors
and persons performing work for an employer through a temporary service or staffing
agency. Workers in a meatpacking operation who inspect or package meatpacking products
and workers who clean, maintain, or sanitize equipment or surfaces are included in the
definition of a meat-processing worker. Meat-processing worker does not include a federal,
state, or local government inspector.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Meatpacking operation. new text end

new text begin "Meatpacking operation" or "meat-processing
employer" means a business with 50 or more meat-processing workers in which slaughtering,
butchering, meat canning, meatpacking, meat manufacturing, poultry canning, poultry
packing, poultry manufacturing, or processing of meatpacking products occurs. Meatpacking
operation or meat-processing employer does not mean a grocery store, butcher shop, meat
market, deli, restaurant, or other business preparing meat or poultry products for immediate
consumption or for sale in a retail establishment or otherwise directly to an end-consumer.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Meatpacking products. new text end

new text begin "Meatpacking products" means meat food products
and poultry food products as defined in section 31A.02, subdivision 10.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [179.8715] WORKER RIGHTS COORDINATOR.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner must appoint a meatpacking industry worker rights coordinator
in the Department of Labor and Industry and provide the coordinator with necessary office
space, furniture, equipment, supplies, and assistance.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner must enforce sections 179.87 to 179.8757, including inspecting,
reviewing, and recommending improvements to the practices and procedures of meatpacking
operations in Minnesota. A meat-processing employer must grant the commissioner full
access to all meatpacking operations in this state at any time that meatpacking products are
being processed or meat-processing workers are on the job.
new text end

new text begin (c) No later than December 1 each year, the coordinator must submit a report to the
governor and the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees with
jurisdiction over labor. The report must include recommendations to promote better treatment
of meat-processing workers. The coordinator shall also post the report on the Department
of Labor and Industry's website.
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [179.872] REFUSAL TO WORK UNDER DANGEROUS CONDITIONS.
new text end

new text begin A meat-processing worker has a right to refuse to work under dangerous conditions in
accordance with section 182.654, subdivision 11. Pursuant to that provision, the worker
shall continue to receive pay and shall not be subject to discrimination.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [179.875] ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Administrative enforcement. new text end

new text begin The commissioner, either on the
commissioner's initiative or in response to a complaint, may inspect a meatpacking operation
and subpoena records and witnesses as provided in sections 175.20 and 182.659. If a
meat-processing employer does not comply with the commissioner's inspection, the
commissioner may seek relief as provided in this section or chapter 175 or 182.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Compliance authority. new text end

new text begin The commissioner of labor and industry may issue a
compliance order under section 177.27, subdivision 4, requiring an employer to comply
with sections 179.87 to 179.8757. The commissioner also has authority, pursuant to section
182.662, subdivision 1, to issue a stop work or business closure order when there is a
condition or practice that could result in death or serious physical harm.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Private civil action. new text end

new text begin If a meat-processing employer does not comply with a
provision in sections 179.87 to 179.8757, an aggrieved worker, authorized employee
representative, or other person may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction
within three years of an alleged violation and, upon prevailing, must be awarded the relief
provided in this section. Pursuing administrative relief is not a prerequisite for bringing a
civil action.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Other government enforcement. new text end

new text begin The attorney general may enforce sections
179.87 to 179.8757 under section 8.31. A city or county attorney may also enforce these
sections. Such law enforcement agencies may inspect meatpacking operations and subpoena
records and witnesses and, where such agencies determine that a violation has occurred,
may bring a civil action as provided in this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Relief. new text end

new text begin (a) In a civil action or administrative proceeding brought to enforce
sections 179.87 to 179.8757, the court or commissioner must order relief as provided in this
subdivision.
new text end

new text begin (b) For any violation of sections 179.87 to 179.8757:
new text end

new text begin (1) an injunction to order compliance and restrain continued violations;
new text end

new text begin (2) payment to a prevailing worker by a meat-processing employer of reasonable costs,
disbursements, and attorney fees; and
new text end

new text begin (3) a civil penalty payable to the state of not less than $100 per day per worker affected
by the meat-processing employer's noncompliance with sections 179.87 to 179.8757.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Whistleblower enforcement; penalty distribution. new text end

new text begin (a) The relief provided in
this section may be recovered through a private civil action brought on behalf of the
commissioner in a court of competent jurisdiction by another individual, including an
authorized employee representative, pursuant to this subdivision.
new text end

new text begin (b) The individual must give written notice to the coordinator of the specific provision
or provisions of sections 179.87 to 179.8757 alleged to have been violated. The individual
or representative organization may commence a civil action under this subdivision if no
enforcement action is taken by the commissioner within 30 days.
new text end

new text begin (c) Civil penalties recovered pursuant to this subdivision must be distributed as follows:
new text end

new text begin (1) 70 percent to the commissioner for enforcement of sections 179.87 to 179.8757; and
new text end

new text begin (2) 30 percent to the individual or authorized employee representative.
new text end

new text begin (d) The right to bring an action under this subdivision shall not be impaired by private
contract. A public enforcement action must be tried promptly, without regard to concurrent
adjudication of a private claim for the same alleged violation.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [179.8755] RETALIATION AGAINST EMPLOYEES AND
WHISTLEBLOWERS PROHIBITED.
new text end

new text begin (a) Pursuant to section 182.669, no meat-processing employer or other person may
discharge or discriminate against a worker because the employee has raised a concern about
a meatpacking operation's health and safety practices to the employer or otherwise exercised
any right authorized under sections 182.65 to 182.674.
new text end

new text begin (b) No meat-processing employer or other person may attempt to require any worker to
sign a contract or other agreement that would limit or prevent the worker from disclosing
information about workplace health and safety practices or hazards, or to otherwise abide
by a workplace policy that would limit or prevent such disclosures. Any such agreements
or policies are hereby void and unenforceable as contrary to the public policy of this state.
An employer's attempt to impose such a contract, agreement, or policy shall constitute an
adverse action enforceable under sections 179.87 to 179.8757.
new text end

new text begin (c) Reporting or threatening to report a meat-processing worker's suspected citizenship
or immigration status, or the suspected citizenship or immigration status of a family member
of the worker, to a federal, state, or local agency because the worker exercises a right under
sections 179.87 to 179.8757 constitutes an adverse action for purposes of establishing a
violation of that worker's rights. For purposes of this paragraph, "family member" means a
spouse, parent, sibling, child, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, cousin, grandparent, or grandchild
related by blood, adoption, marriage, or domestic partnership.
new text end

new text begin (d) Any worker who brings a complaint under sections 179.87 to 179.8757 and suffers
retaliation is entitled to treble damages in addition to lost pay and recovery of attorney fees
and costs.
new text end

new text begin (e) Any company who is found to have retaliated against a meat-processing worker must
pay a fine of up to $10,000 to the commissioner, in addition to other penalties available
under the law.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [179.8756] MEATPACKING WORKER CHRONIC INJURIES AND
WORKPLACE SAFETY.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Safe worker program required; facility committee. new text end

new text begin (a) Meat-processing
employers must adopt a safe worker program as part of the employer's work accident and
injury reduction program to minimize and prevent musculoskeletal disorders. For purposes
of this section, "musculoskeletal disorders" includes carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis,
rotator cuff injuries, trigger finger, epicondylitis, muscle strains, and lower back injuries.
new text end

new text begin (b) The meat-processing employer's safe worker program must be developed and
implemented by a committee of individuals who are knowledgeable of the tasks and work
processes performed by workers at the employer's facility. The committee must include:
new text end

new text begin (1) a certified professional ergonomist;
new text end

new text begin (2) a licensed, board-certified physician, with preference given to a physician who has
specialized experience and training in occupational medicine; and
new text end

new text begin (3) at least three workers employed in the employer's facility who have completed a
general industry outreach course approved by the commissioner, one of whom must be an
authorized employee representative if the employer is party to a collective bargaining
agreement.
new text end

new text begin (c) If it is not practicable for a certified professional ergonomist or a licensed,
board-certified physician to be a member of the committee required by paragraph (b), the
meatpacking employer must have their safe worker program reviewed by a certified
professional ergonomist and a licensed, board-certified physician prior to implementation
of the program and annually thereafter.
new text end

new text begin (d) The meatpacking employer must solicit feedback for its safe worker program through
its safety committee required by section 182.676, in addition to any other opportunities for
employee participation the employer may provide. The safety committee must be directly
involved in ergonomics worksite assessments and participate in the annual evaluation of
the program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Program elements. new text end

new text begin (a) The committee must establish written procedures to
identify ergonomic hazards and contributing risk factors, which must include:
new text end

new text begin (1) the ergonomic assessment tools used to measure ergonomic hazards;
new text end

new text begin (2) all jobs where the committee has an indication or knowledge that ergonomic hazards
may exist; and
new text end

new text begin (3) workers who perform the same job or a sample of workers in that job who have the
greatest exposure to the ergonomic hazard.
new text end

new text begin (b) The committee must conduct ergonomic assessments to identify hazards and
contributing risk factors; review all surveillance data at least quarterly to identify ergonomic
hazards and contributing risk factors; and maintain records of the hazard identification
process, which, at a minimum, must include the completed ergonomic assessment tools,
the results of the ergonomic assessments including the jobs and workers evaluated, and the
assessment dates.
new text end

new text begin (c) The committee must implement a written ergonomic hazard prevention and control
plan to identify and select methods to eliminate, prevent, or control the ergonomic hazards
and contributing risk factors. The plan must:
new text end

new text begin (1) set goals, priorities, and a timeline to eliminate, prevent, or control the ergonomic
hazards and contributing risk factors identified;
new text end

new text begin (2) identify the person or persons responsible for ergonomic hazard assessments and
implementation of controls;
new text end

new text begin (3) rely upon the surveillance data and the ergonomic risk assessment results; and
new text end

new text begin (4) take into consideration the severity of the risk, the numbers of workers at risk, and
the likelihood that the intervention will reduce the risk.
new text end

new text begin (d) A meat-processing employer must control, reduce, or eliminate ergonomic hazards
which lead to musculoskeletal disorders to the extent feasible by using engineering, work
practice, and administrative controls.
new text end

new text begin (e) The committee must monitor at least annually the implementation of the plan including
the effectiveness of controls and evaluate progress in meeting program goals.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin New employee training. new text end

new text begin (a) A meat-processing employer must work with the
committee to provide each new employee with information regarding:
new text end

new text begin (1) the committee and its members;
new text end

new text begin (2) the facility's workplace accident and injury reduction program under section 182.653,
subdivision 8, as well as any other hazard prevention and control plan the facility may have;
new text end

new text begin (3) early signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries and the procedures for reporting
them;
new text end

new text begin (4) procedures for reporting other injuries and hazards;
new text end

new text begin (5) engineering and administrative hazard controls implemented in the workplace,
including ergonomic hazard controls; and
new text end

new text begin (6) how to use personal protective equipment, and where it is located.
new text end

new text begin (b) A meat-processing employer must work with the committee and ensure that new
workers receive safety training prior to starting a job that the worker has not performed
before. The employer must provide the safety training during working hours and compensate
the new employee at the employee's standard rate of pay. The employer also must give a
new employee an opportunity within 30 days of the employee's hire date to receive a refresher
training on the topics covered in the new worker safety training. The employer must provide
new employee training in a language and with vocabulary that the employee can understand.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin New task and annual safety training. new text end

new text begin (a) Meat-processing employers must
provide every worker who is assigned a new task if the worker has no previous work
experience with training on how to safely perform the task, the ergonomic and other hazards
associated with the task, and training on the early signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal
injuries and the procedures for reporting them. The employer must give a worker an
opportunity within 30 days of receiving the new task training to receive refresher training
on the topics covered in the new task training. The employer must provide this training in
a language and with vocabulary that the employee can understand.
new text end

new text begin (b) Meat-processing employers must provide each worker with no less than eight hours
of safety training each year. This annual training must address health and safety topics that
are relevant to the establishment and the worker's job assignment, such as cuts, lacerations,
amputations, machine guarding, biological hazards, lockout/tagout, hazard communication,
ergonomic hazards, and personal protective equipment. At least two of the eight hours of
annual training must be on topics related to the facility's ergonomic injury prevention
program, including the assessment of surveillance data, the ergonomic hazard prevention
and control plan, and the early signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders and the
procedures for reporting them. The employer must provide this training in a language and
with vocabulary that the employee can understand.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Attestation and record keeping. new text end

new text begin Meat-processing employers must maintain
a written attestation dated and signed by each person who provides training and each
employee who receives training pursuant to this section. The attestation completed by the
training provider must certify that the employer has provided training consistent with the
requirements of this section. The employer must ensure that these records are up to date
and available to the commissioner, the coordinator, and the authorized employee
representative upon request.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Medical services and qualifications. new text end

new text begin (a) Meat-processing employers must
ensure that:
new text end

new text begin (1) all first-aid providers, medical assistants, nurses, and physicians engaged by the
employer are licensed and perform their duties within the scope of their licensed practice;
new text end

new text begin (2) medical management of musculoskeletal disorders is under direct supervision of a
licensed physician specializing in occupational medicine who will advise on best practices
for management and prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders; and
new text end

new text begin (3) medical management of musculoskeletal injuries follows the most current version
of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine practice guidelines.
new text end

new text begin (b) Meat-processing employers must make a record of all worker visits to medical or
first aid personnel, regardless of severity or type of illness or injury, and make a redacted
version of these records available to the coordinator and the authorized employee
representative. The name, contact information, and occupation of an employee, and any
other information that would reveal the identity of an employee, must be removed in the
redacted version. The redacted version must only include, to the extent it would not reveal
identity of an employee, the location where the employee worked, the date of the injury or
visit, a description of the medical treatment or first aid provided, and a description of the
injury suffered. The employer must make an unredacted version of the records available to
the commissioner and the authorized employee representative upon their request.
new text end

new text begin (c) Meat-processing employers must maintain records of all ergonomic injuries suffered
by workers for at least five years.
new text end

new text begin (d) The coordinator may compile, analyze, and publish annually, either in summary or
detailed form, all reports or information obtained under sections 179.87 to 179.8757,
including information about safe worker programs, and may cooperate with the United
States Department of Labor in obtaining national summaries of occupational deaths, injuries,
and illnesses. The coordinator and authorized employee representative must preserve the
anonymity of each employee with respect to whom medical reports or information is obtained.
new text end

new text begin (e) Meat-processing employers must not institute or maintain any program, policy, or
practice that discourages employees from reporting injuries, hazards, or safety standard
violations, unless the employee authorizes his or her information be shared.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Pandemic protections. new text end

new text begin (a) This subdivision applies during a public health
emergency that involves airborne transmission.
new text end

new text begin (b) Meat-processing employers must maintain a radius of space around and between
each worker according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines unless
a nonporous barrier separates the workers. An employer may accomplish such distancing
by increasing physical space between workstations, slowing production speeds, staggering
shifts and breaks, adjusting shift size, or a combination thereof. The employer must
reconfigure common or congregate spaces to allow for such distancing, including lunch
rooms, break rooms, and locker rooms. The employer must reinforce social distancing by
allowing workers to maintain six feet of distance along with the use of nonporous barriers.
new text end

new text begin (c) Meat-processing employers must provide employees with face masks and must make
face shields available on request. Face masks, including replacement face masks, and face
shields must be provided at no cost to the employee. All persons present at the meatpacking
operation must wear face masks in the facility except in those parts of the facility where
infection risk is low because workers work in isolation.
new text end

new text begin (d) Meat-processing employers must provide all meat-processing workers with the ability
to frequently and routinely sanitize their hands with either hand-washing or hand-sanitizing
stations. The employer must ensure that restrooms have running hot and cold water and
paper towels and are in sanitary condition. The employer must provide gloves to those who
request them.
new text end

new text begin (e) Meat-processing employers must clean and regularly disinfect all frequently touched
surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, training rooms, machinery controls, tools,
protective garments, eating surfaces, bathrooms, showers, and other similar areas. Employers
must install and maintain ventilation systems that ensure unidirectional air flow, outdoor
air, and filtration in both production areas and common areas such as cafeterias and locker
rooms.
new text end

new text begin (f) Meat-processing employers must disseminate all required communications, notices,
and any published materials regarding these protections in English, Spanish, and other
languages as required for employees to understand the communication.
new text end

new text begin (g) Meat-processing employers must provide adequate break time for workers to use
the bathroom, wash their hands, and don and doff protective equipment.
new text end

new text begin (h) Meat-processing employers must provide sufficient personal protective equipment
for each employee for each shift, plus replacements, at no cost to the employee.
Meat-processing employers must provide training in proper use of personal protective
equipment, safety procedures, and sanitation.
new text end

new text begin (i) Meat-processing employers must record all injuries and illnesses in the facility and
make these records available upon request to the health and safety committee. The name,
contact information, and occupation of an employee, and any other information that would
reveal the identity of an employee, must be removed. The redacted records must only include,
to the extent it would not reveal identity of an employee, the location where the employee
worked, the date of the injury or visit, a description of the medical treatment or first aid
provided, and a description of the injury suffered. The employer also must make its records
available to the commissioner, and where there is a collective bargaining agreement, to the
authorized bargaining representative.
new text end

new text begin (j) Meat-processing employers must provide paid sick time for workers to recuperate
from illness or injury or to care for ill family members. For purposes of this paragraph,
"family member" includes:
new text end

new text begin (1) biological, adopted, or foster children, stepchildren, children of domestic partners
or spouses, and legal wards of workers;
new text end

new text begin (2) biological parents, stepparents, foster parents, adoptive parents, or legal guardians
of a worker or a worker's spouse or domestic partner;
new text end

new text begin (3) a worker's legally married spouse or domestic partner as registered under the laws
of any state or political subdivision;
new text end

new text begin (4) a worker's grandparent, whether from a biological, step-, foster, or adoptive
relationship;
new text end

new text begin (5) a worker's grandchild, whether from a biological, step-, foster, or adoptive
relationship;
new text end

new text begin (6) a worker's sibling, whether from a biological, step-, foster, or adoptive relationship;
and
new text end

new text begin (7) any other individual related by blood or affinity to the worker whose association
with the worker is the equal of a family relationship.
new text end

new text begin (k) All meat-processing workers must accrue at least one hour of paid sick time for every
30 hours worked. For purposes of this paragraph, paid sick time means time that is
compensated at the same hourly rate, including the same benefits, as is normally earned by
the worker.
new text end

new text begin (l) Meat-processing employers may provide all paid sick time a worker is expected to
accrue at the beginning of the year or at the start of the worker's employment.
new text end

new text begin (m) Meat-processing employers must carry an employee's earned paid sick time over
into the following calendar year. If a worker does not wish to carry over sick time, the
meat-processing employer must pay the worker for accrued sick time. If a worker chooses
to receive pay in lieu of carried-over sick time, the employer must provide the worker with
an amount of paid sick time that meets or exceeds the requirements of sections 179.87 to
179.8757, to be available for the worker's immediate use at the start of the following calendar
year.
new text end

new text begin (n) Meat-processing employers must maintain records for at least three years showing
hours worked and paid sick time accrued and used by workers. Employers must allow the
commissioner and coordinator access to these records in order to ensure compliance with
the requirements of sections 179.87 to 179.8757.
new text end

new text begin (o) If a meat-processing employer transfers a worker to another division or location of
the same meat-processing employer, the worker is entitled to all earned paid sick time
accrued in the worker's previous position. If a worker is separated from employment and
rehired within one year by the same meat-processing employer, the meat-processing employer
must reinstate the worker's earned sick time to the level accrued by the worker as of the
date of separation.
new text end

new text begin (p) If a meat-processing employer is succeeded by a different employer, all workers of
the original employer are entitled to all earned paid sick time they accrued when employed
by the original employer.
new text end

new text begin (q) Meat-processing employers must not require workers to find or search for a
replacement worker to take the place of the worker as a condition of the worker using paid
sick time.
new text end

new text begin (r) Meat-processing employers must not require workers to disclose details of private
matters as a condition of using paid sick time, including details of a worker or family
member's illness, domestic violence, sexual abuse or assault, or stalking and harassment.
If the employer does possess such information, it must be treated as confidential and not
disclosed without the express permission of the worker.
new text end

new text begin (s) Meat-processing employers must provide workers written notice of their rights and
the employer's requirements under this section at the time the worker begins employment.
This notice must be provided in English, Spanish, or the employee's language of fluency.
The amount of paid sick time a worker has accrued, the amount of paid sick time a worker
has used during the current year, and the amount of pay the worker has received as paid
sick time must be recorded on or attached to the worker's paycheck. Meat-processing
employers must display a poster in a conspicuous location in each facility where workers
are employed that displays the information required under this paragraph. The poster must
be displayed in English and any language of fluency that is read or spoken by at least five
percent of the employer's workers.
new text end

new text begin (t) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to:
new text end

new text begin (1) prohibit or discourage an employer from adopting or retaining a paid sick time policy
that is more generous than the one provided in this subdivision;
new text end

new text begin (2) diminish the obligation of an employer to comply with a collective bargaining
agreement, or any other contract that provides more generous paid sick time to a worker
than provided for in this subdivision; or
new text end

new text begin (3) override any provision of local law that provides greater rights for paid sick time
than is provided for in this subdivision.
new text end

Sec. 8.

new text begin [179.8757] NOTIFICATION REQUIRED.
new text end

new text begin (a) Meat-processing employers must provide written information and notifications about
employee rights under section 179.86 and sections 179.87 to 179.8757 to workers in their
language of fluency at least annually. If a worker is unable to understand written information
and notifications, the employer must provide such information and notices orally in the
worker's language of fluency.
new text end

new text begin (b) The coordinator must notify covered employers of the provisions of sections 179.87
to 179.8757 and any recent updates at least annually.
new text end

new text begin (c) The coordinator must place information explaining sections 179.87 to 179.8757 on
the Department of Labor and Industry's website in at least English, Spanish, and any other
language that at least ten percent of meat-processing workers communicate in fluently. The
coordinator must also make the information accessible to persons with impaired visual
acuity.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 182.654, subdivision 11, is amended to read:


Subd. 11.

Refusal to work under dangerous conditions.

An employee acting in good
faith has the right to refuse to work under conditions which the employee reasonably believes
present an imminent danger of death or serious physical harm to the employee.

A reasonable belief of imminent danger of death or serious physical harm includes but
is not limited to a reasonable belief of the employee that the employee has been assigned
to work in an unsafe or unhealthful manner with a hazardous substance, harmful physical
agent or infectious agent.

An employer may not discriminate against an employee for a good faith refusal to
perform assigned tasks if the employee has requested that the employer correct the hazardous
conditions but the conditions remain uncorrected.

An employee who has refused in good faith to perform assigned tasks and who has not
been reassigned to other tasks by the employer shall, in addition to retaining a right to
continued employment, receive pay for the tasks which would have been performed if (1)
the employee requests the commissioner to inspect and determine the nature of the hazardous
condition, and (2) the commissioner determines that the employee, by performing the
assigned tasks, would have been placed in imminent danger of death or serious physical
harm.

new text begin Additionally, the commissioner may order:
new text end

new text begin (1) reinstatement of the worker to the same position held before any adverse personnel
action or to an equivalent position, reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights,
and compensation for unpaid wages, benefits and other remuneration, or front pay in lieu
of reinstatement; and
new text end

new text begin (2) compensatory damages payable to the aggrieved worker equal to the greater of $5,000
or twice the actual damages, including unpaid wages, benefits and other remuneration, and
punitive damages.
new text end

new text begin An employer has the right to contest the commissioner's order within 20 days. If not
resolved, the commissioner shall refer the matter for a contested case proceeding under
Minnesota Rules, chapter 5210.
new text end

Sec. 10. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS.
new text end

new text begin $360,000 in fiscal year 2024 and $169,000 in fiscal year 2025 are appropriated from the
general fund to the commissioner of labor and industry for purposes of this act.
new text end