Minnesota Leave Laws

April 25th 2024

Taking leave has a positive effect on a person’s overall wellness, which is why there are laws at both the federal and state levels to ensure workers receive time off. This article delves into the leave regulations in Minnesota, detailing the different kinds of leave options accessible to employees.

In Minnesota, there are two main kinds of leave: mandatory and non-mandatory. Each type has its own set of rules and conditions, which can differ depending on which area of Minnesota you reside in.

This Article Covers

Minnesota Required Leave
Minnesota Non-Required Leave

Minnesota Required Leave

Employers in Minnesota are legally required to provide employees certain types of leave. The types of mandatory leave include:

1. Family and Medical Leave

  • Eligibility: Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, if they have worked for the employer for at least a year, worked 1,250 hours, and worked at a location with at least 50 employed workers within 75 miles.
  • Duration: Up to 12 weeks per year.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: 
  • Reasons include handling specific family and medical issues, such as caring for a sick family member, treating serious health conditions, providing care for a family member who was injured on active duty, or prenatal care (regardless of whether the parents are biological or adoptive). 

2. Jury Service Leave

  • Eligibility: Employers in Minnesota must provide unpaid leave for jury service, although employees may need to show their jury summons as proof.
  • Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the jury service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To fulfill jury service when summoned by the court.
  • Pay: Employers do not have to pay workers on jury service leave, though some union members may receive compensation if their contract allows for it.

3. Voting Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who are eligible to vote are entitled to paid time off work on election day.
  • Duration: The time it takes for the employee to vote and travel back to work.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When an employee requires time to vote in any national, state, or local election.

4. Organ and Bone Donation Leave

  • Eligibility: Employers with a workforce of 20 or more operating either in a physical or virtual environment must grant leave to employees who wish to donate bone marrow or organs.
  • Duration: 40-hour period or potentially longer, if any complications arise. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Leave can be taken for any bone marrow or organ donations.

5. School Activity and Conference Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who work at least half of a full-time schedule are eligible for this type of leave if they are a parent or legal guardian.
  • Duration: Up to 16 hours of unpaid leave within a one-year period. This leave is renewable every year and applies to each child the employee has.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To attend conferences or school activities related to their child.

6. Military Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees in Minnesota with family members on active duty are entitled to certain types of military leave.
  • Duration: 14 weeks of absence for military caregiver leave.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Caring for an injured family member who is on active duty, welcoming or sending off a family member, or organizing a funeral for a family member who has been killed.

7. Witness Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who have been victims or witnesses to a crime are entitled to this type of leave, as per the Witness and Victims of Crime Leave Policy. However, they must provide a 48-hour notice in advance (except in cases of emergency).
  • Duration: The time it takes to fulfill witness service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To attend court proceedings, provide testimony, or answer questions from law enforcement officials.

Minnesota Non-Required Leave

While other types of leave are non-mandatory in Minnesota, some employers opt to provide them under certain circumstances. Non-mandatory types of leave include:

1. Vacation Time

Employers in Minnesota are not required by law to offer vacation leave to their employees. If they choose to offer it, it may be paid or unpaid, depending on the terms of the employment contract.

2. Sick Leave

There are no federal or state laws mandating employers to offer sick leave. However, sick leave and FMLA can sometimes overlap, requiring employers to grant leave. There are additional sick leave requirements in major cities such as Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth for employers to take note of. If an employer chooses to offer sick leave, they must also provide additional time off for employees caring for family members, seeking help following assault or harassment, or assisting family members who have been victims of abuse.

3. Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is not regulated by law in Minnesota.

4. Holiday Leave

Employers are not required by law to grant their employees paid or unpaid holiday leave. 

Official state holidays observed in Minnesota include:

Official State Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October

If you want to know more about the rights of employees in Minnesota, you can read our guides on Your rights as a salaried employee in Minnesota, and Your rights as an hourly employee in Minnesota. You can also learn more about Minnesota Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.