The Minnesota Parenting Leave Act

The Minnesota Parenting Leave Act (MPLA) has long required employers to allow their employees to use personal sick leave to care for the employee’s minor child due to illness or injury. As of August 1, 2013, that sick leave also extends to the sickness or injury of the employee’s family members. Qualified family members include the employee’s sibling, parent, grandparent, or stepparent. In addition, the Act previously extended only to minor children under 18 years of age, but now also extends to children under age 20 who are still attending secondary school.

This change to the MPLA is not without its limits, however. First, the Act does not cover all employers, but only to those that employ 21 employees or more at any single site. Second, for those employers that are covered, they can limit an employee’s use of sick leave to 160 hours in a 12-month period. Third, the Act applies only to employees that have worked for the employer for 12 consecutive months and work at least at a 50% level of full-time employment. Finally, the Act itself does not require employers to offer employees sick leave, either paid or unpaid, but instead requires employers that do offer sick leave to abide by its requirements.

In light of this change, employers must be sure to review their employment policies to ensure they are abiding by Minnesota law.

For more additional information on this or other employment law matters, see the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry website at: