What You Need to Know About Minnesota Sick Leave Laws
Taking sick leave from work may seem simple, but it is still important to know what rights employees have when taking leave from work. Here’s everything you need to know about Minnesota’s sick leave laws.
Employees in Minnesota are protected by both federal and state statutes. In Minnesota, sick leave laws allow those with a personal illness or caring for relatives with an illness or injury to take leave. It also allows employees to take time off to care for themselves or relatives that were victims of sexual assaults, domestic abuse, stalking, or harassment. Almost all sick leave in Minnesota is unpaid.
What is Sick Leave?
Sick leave is leave that an employee can take when they are experiencing a personal illness. According to Minnesota statutes, sick leave may be taken for issues such as an illness, injury, or to care for ill or injured relatives.
Minnesota’s Sick and Safe Leave Law
Minnesota’s sick and safe leave law requires that employers allow employees time off to:
Care for an ill or injured minor child, adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent
For themselves or a relative to provide or receive assistance because of sexual assault, domestic abuse, stalking, or harassment
Employers who provide sick leave to employees may limit use of sick or safety leave to 160 hours in a 12 month period for family members except for children.
Who is Covered?
The Minnesota sick and safe law covers employees:
- Who have worked for the employer for at least 12 months
- Who worked at least half-time during the past 12 months
The law also covers employers:
That have 21 or more employees at a single site regardless of where the site is
Who offer personal sick leave benefits for absence from work due to an employee’s illness or injury
Is Sick Leave Paid?
The law does not require that sick leave be paid. If the employer provides paid time off for the illness or injury of the worker, then time off for the illness or injury of a family member must also be paid.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
An employer in Minnesota is also required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). According to FMLA, any employer with at least 50 employees must allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave which can be renewed yearly. Reasons for qualifying for this leave include:
- Spending time with a new adopted or newborn child
- Taking care of a family member who has a severe health condition
- Recovering from a serious health concern
- Handling circumstances that arise from military service of a family member
- Caring for a family member who suffered serious injury during active military duty
Are Sick Leaves Job-Protected?
Employees are entitled to their health insurance while on leave. Minnesota’s sick and safe leave act does not require employers to provide personal sick leave benefits. However, according to the FMLA, when leave ends, the employee has the right to be returned to their previous position.