Minnesota Parental Leave
Minnesota Parental Leave Act
The Minnesota Parental Leave law is a maternity leave regulation which allows for 6 weeks of unpaid leave. The law when combined with the Federal act may provide for unpaid job-protected leave for differing population segments.
* Eligibility and Provisions
MN Family Leave Pay
The MN regulation does not provide for paid family leave. There are some provisions and related regulations and options that may remove some of the sting.
You are allowed to use accumulated sick days to care for a family member with an illness provided you work at least half of the equivalent for a full time worker. Every employee is also allowed to use sixteen hours of sick time to attend school activities, conferences, etc. Accumulated vacation days may also be used for this purpose.
Minnesota does not have state mandated short term disability coverage. Purchase a private short term disability for maternity policy prior to getting pregnant, and receive six or eight weeks of partially paid family leave while you recover from childbirth. If complications require you to miss time prior to delivery, you have have partial income protection during this time as well.
After returning to work, women are allowed a reasonable amount of unpaid break time to express milk for her newborn at home.
Minnesota Family Leave: Key Provisions & Who is Covered
The MN family leave regulation has four main provisions for parents:covered reasons, calculating start dates, retribution, and access to health insurance.
The statute allows male and female employees to take up to six weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn baby, or an adoptive child. Foster children are not included in the regulation.
The job protected leave must begin within six weeks of when a newborn is discharged from the hospital, or at the birth or adoption of the child. The employee determines when leave begins.
Employers may not retaliate against any employee requesting leave. When returning to work you are entitled to the same or similar position, with equivalent hours, payscale, and benefits.
Employers must continue to make group health policies available to employees while on job protected leave. Employers are not required to make any contributions to coverage during this time, so expect a big jump in premium costs. This may create a hardship for many parents when combined with a loss of income.
MN Family Leave and FMLA
The state and federal regulations overlap in many areas, but contain some keys points of differntiation which are summarized in the table below.
The key difference relates to an employee’s own disability. It is very common for working women to take time from work prior to delivery for bed rest. Medical complications of pregnancy occur 25% of the time, so this happens quite frequently. Because the two provisions are mutually exclusive, the two acts work together to lengthen the amount of job protected time: 12 weeks of FMLA during pregnancy complications prior to delivery, followed by 6 weeks of MN Parental Leave to care for a newborn.
Source: MN Revised Statutes, MN Dept of Labor and Industry