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Minnesota employers offering novel incentives to attract workers

Plus: Chauvin in court on tax fraud charges; Duluth requires vaccines for city workers; failure of Zillow homebuying program leaves Minnesota realtor with glut of homes; and more.

A hiring sign outside the L.L. Bean store at the Mall of America.
A hiring sign outside the L.L. Bean store at the Mall of America.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

It’s a worker’s market. The Star Tribune’s Dee Depass reports: “Amid one of the tightest labor markets in U.S. history, employers begin their annual employee-benefits enrollment drives this week with a menu of options designed to get workers to stay and desperately needed job applicants to climb aboard. … Employers across Minnesota and other states are stacking their usual health, dental, vision and 401(k) benefits with fresh perks: tuition reimbursement, more time off, flexible schedules, expanded mental health offerings, day care assistance, remote work options and even a few surprises like pet insurance.

Chauvin back in court. In the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Iain Carlos and Robin Washington report: “Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, is due in court again Friday, this time for a pretrial hearing via Zoom for his separate criminal charges of tax fraud. … Chauvin faces nine charges of tax-related crimes. Among the alleged offenses, Chauvin and his now-former wife are accused of underreporting $464,433 of joint income, including $96,000 he earned between 2014 and 2019 for security work at El Nuevo Rodeo, the Minneapolis club where Floyd also worked in security. Chauvin is also accused of claiming Florida residency to pay cheaper state sales taxes on a BMW X5 he bought in Minnetonka.”

Vaccine-ith city of the unsalted sea. The Star Tribune’s Jana Hollingsworth reports:Duluth will require its city employees to get vaccinated or be tested weekly for COVID-19. … The city employs about 850 people, who were notified of the new policy two weeks ago. Employees have until Dec. 1 to be fully vaccinated, and for those who aren’t, regular testing will be required. Most employees are covered by union contracts, and disciplinary paths outlined in those contracts will be followed for those who don’t comply, Schuchman said. … Those measures begin with a warning and end with termination.”

That’s a lot of guaranteed offers. At Racket, Jay Boller reports: “News of Zillow Offers going belly-up elicited no small amount of internet schadenfreude. … Launched in 2018, the home-flipping program—part of the so-called iBuyer movement—felt like more tech utopian snake oil in a culture that’s already drowning in it: The all-knowing algorithm can create an Uber for selling your biggest asset. … It proved to be a spectacular failure. … On Tuesday, the Seattle-based company announced the demise of its $1.17 billion division, setting off a 25% stock nose-dive and a 25% slashing of the Zillow workforce. … Locally, the Zillow Offers fallout is twofold: The remaining 167 homes that Zillow owns and needs to unload, plus the fortunes of the man — Kris Lindahl — who landed the exclusive contract to sell ‘em.

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In other news…

D’oh:Over 80% Of Iowa Deer Sampled In Study Found To Have COVID-19” [WCCO]

Canadian Railroad Eulogy:Canadian Pacific outlines closure plans for U.S. headquarters in Minneapolis after merger” [Star Tribune]

KS95 on top:Tracking Twin Cities Radio Ratings” [Twin Cities Business]

Good news for leftovers:Fewer Small Turkeys Could Be Available This Thanksgiving As Farmers Navigate Product Shortages” [WCCO]

Sweet:Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative’s farmers produce record crop” [West Central Tribune]