Minnesota Sick Leave Law: Business Compliance Guide

Minnesota Sick Leave Law Overview

Many businesses don’t realize that Minnesota has a sick leave law in place already. However, the Minnesota law varies from sick leave laws of many other states. Minnesota’s law doesn’t require a certain amount of sick leave to be awarded to employees, but rather it oversees the legal uses and allowances of sick leave awarded. If a business provides sick leave, then they must allow sick leave to be used for specific purposes.

Allowable Uses for Sick Leave

The Minnesota Sick Leave Law provides a safety clause for employees, or family members who are victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. Assistance that the employee or employee’s family member needs to receive because of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking is covered as an allowable use for sick leave, even if the employer’s acceptable reasons don’t cover this safety clause. Safety leave can be limited to 160 hours per calendar year. Employees can also use sick leave for preventative care, or due to an illness or injury.

Family Relationships allowed under Minnesota Sick Leave Law

Minnesota requires employees to allow employees to take sick leave for themselves or for certain family relationships. The allowable family relationships allowed under the Sick Leave Law include child, parent, spouse, sibling, parent-in-law, Stepparents, grandchildren, and grandparents. The employee is allowed to take sick leave to care for a family member for the same reasons they are allowed to take sick leave for themselves.  Relationships allowed under law include biological,  step, and foster relationships.

  • Child, including adult children
  • Spouse
  • Parents, Parent-in-Law, Stepparents
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Siblings.

Anti-Retaliation Clause

Employees who use Sick Leave for the reasons described in the law are protected against retaliation.

Conflicting Laws Across Minnesota

As cities across Minnesota enact local sick leave laws, the state legislature is looking a a bill that would prohibit local ordinances. Further, Minneapolis is fighting for their right to enact the sick leave ordinance on July 1. However, until such a bill passes, cities are free to enact mandatory sick leave laws. Currently St Paul and Minneapolis have both enacted mandatory sick leave laws that require sick leave at the rate of  hour for every 30 hours worked. Both cities’ ordinances apply to businesses outside of city limits if any employees spend as much as 80 hours a year in city limits. This would apply to employees who may traverse the city during working hours and spend time in traffic. It would also apply to temporary, seasonal or occasional-basis employees. Even businesses who don’t have locations inside these two cities should be aware of the new ordinances. Both ordinances are set to take effect on July 1, 2017. Additionally, these businesses still have to comply with state and federal employment laws such as FMLA, the possibly backdated Overtime Rule, and other laws.

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Resources

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=181.9413

Minneapolis Sick Leave Ordinance

St Paul Sick Leave Ordinance

Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated Feb 15, 2017