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Appeals court upholds Minneapolis sick-leave policy

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minneapolis City Council

Minneapolis’ sick-leave policy clears another court. The Star Tribune’s Emma Nelson reports: “Minneapolis employers still have to provide their workers with paid sick time, a Minnesota Court of Appeals judge has ruled. … The unpublished opinion, filed Monday, affirms a January Hennepin County District Court ruling that said the city could require only Minneapolis-based companies to comply with the ordinance. … The ordinance, which took effect July 1, requires employers to allow employees working in Minneapolis to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours a year. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit against the city last year, arguing the ordinance is pre-empted by state law.”

Minnesota’s own UnitedHealth featured prominently in this report on how insurers may be helping to drive the opioid crisis. The New York Times’ Katie Thomas and ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein report: “At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications. … The reason, experts say: Opioid drugs are generally cheap while safer alternatives are often more expensive. … Drugmakers, pharmaceutical distributors, pharmacies and doctors have come under intense scrutiny in recent years, but the role that insurers — and the pharmacy benefit managers that run their drug plans — have played in the opioid crisis has received less attention.

A distraction from … what exactly? MPR’s Martin Moylan, Matt Sayles, Invision and Courtesy Of Target report: “Taylor Swift is one artist on Target’s in-store playlist of more than 1,500 songs. … For decades, Target skipped the background music so common in other stores, believing the sound was a distraction. The company, though, has changed its tune. … Hoping to revive flagging sales and keep shoppers in the aisles longer, Target is introducing background music to stores as part of its current, massive store remodeling effort. … Target tested music in 2011 at its Minnetonka Ridgedale location to see what shoppers and employees thought. Both groups gave thumbs up. After that, the retailer added music to the small urban Targets it was building. Now, it’s poised to remodel hundreds of stores across the country, sound is coming to them.”

Take your time, guys. The Pioneer Press’ David Montgomery reports: “Minnesota’s plan to lower health insurance premiums next year had just one little complication, but it’s threatening to turn into a big complication: It requires approval from the federal government. And with time running out, that approval still isn’t here. … The $542 million proposal, called ‘reinsurance,’ would keep premiums around 20 percentage points lower next year on the individual market than they’d otherwise be. That’s where the estimated 4 percent of Minnesotans without employer or government coverage get their insurance. But if the federal government doesn’t approve the plan — or waits too long to do so — many Minnesotans could pay thousands more per year for their coverage.

In other news…

They’re taking over: “Hy-Vee considers new distribution center in Austin” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

Has the city needlessly tied its own hands? “With too many homeless, too few beds, Mpls. policy debated” [Star Tribune]

Sad story: “Teen found dead in NDSU dorm room, reportedly from Burnsville” [Star Tribune]

One of us: “The Catholic punk rock of The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn” [America]

Not opening for a while, but still, cool: “The Sioux Chef gets a riverfront restaurant at the foot of the Stone Arch Bridge” [City Pages]

Also in important dining news: “Dinkytown diner Al’s Breakfast launches dinner/late-night menu” [City Pages]

Another contest down: “The duck dynasty continues: A Hautman wins the stamp contest, again” [MPR]

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bill Willy on 09/18/2017 - 04:01 pm.

    At least he’ll be able to afford treatment if he needs it

    From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    “Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999 and so have sales of these prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.

    “Opioid prescribing continues to fuel the epidemic. Today, nearly half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. In 2015, more than 15,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids.”

    From the StarTribune (last April):

    “UnitedHealth’s [CEO] Stephen Hemsley made $31.3 million last year”

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