The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally requires private employers with 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for certain family and medical reasons. Those reasons include the birth and care of a newborn child or placement of an adopted or foster child with an employee, as well as leave to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition or when an employee is unable to work because of the employee’s own serious health condition (including incapacity due to pregnancy).
Employees are eligible for federal FMLA leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Employers subject to FMLA are required to maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave on the same terms as if the employee continued to work. Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee generally must be restored to the employee’s original position or an equivalent position identical to the original in terms of pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions.
Many states also have laws requiring that employers grant certain employees leave from work due to specified family, medical, or other circumstances.
Minnesota law requires an employer to provide up to six weeks of unpaid parental leave to a mother or father upon the birth or adoption of a child if:
The following provisions apply to parenting leave under Minnesota law:
Employees are entitled to employment in their former position or one with comparable duties, number of hours and pay. Employees are also entitled to the same benefits and seniority they had before the leave.
Employees may return to work part-time during the leave without forfeiting the right to return to full-time work at the end of the leave.
Exception: If, during a parenting leave the employer experiences a layoff and the employee would have lost a position had the employee not been on leave, pursuant to the good faith operation of a bona fide layoff and recall system, including a system under a collective bargaining agreement, the employee is not entitled to reinstatement in the former or comparable position. In such circumstances, the employee retains all rights under the layoff and recall system, including a system under a collective bargaining agreement, as if the employee had not taken the leave.
An employer must grant up to 10 working days of a leave of absence without pay to an employee whose immediate family member, as a member of the United States armed forces, has been injured or killed while engaged in active service. The length of leave may be reduced by any period of paid leave provided by the employer.
Unless the leave would unduly disrupt the operations of the employer, an employer must grant a leave of absence without pay to an employee whose immediate family member, as a member of the United States armed forces, has been ordered into active service in support of a war or other national emergency. The employer may limit the amount of leave to the actual time necessary for the employee to attend a send-off or homecoming ceremony for the mobilized service member, not to exceed one day's duration in any calendar year.
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
443 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, Minn. 55155
(651) 284-5005 or 800-342-5354
Agency contact for optional educational poster summarizing employees' leave rights:
Labor Standards, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
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