Uffda! Minnesota paid leave signed into law


State paid leave trend continues

On May 25, Minnesota Governor Walz signed a paid family and medical leave law, making Minnesota the 12th state to enact such a law. Employees in this state may begin taking leave January 1, 2026. Contributions to the paid leave fund also begin on that date.


All Minnesota employers are covered by the law. Employees are eligible to take leave if they have earned a total of 5.3 percent of the state average annual wage over a designated 12-month period prior to the start of leave.

Income earned by employees from all covered Minnesota employers in the base period counts toward the total.

How much leave may employees take?

The amount of leave employees may take will depend upon the reasons for leave. The leave is broken into two categories:

  1. Medical leave, including for pregnancy or recovery from childbirth, and
  2. All other reasons for leave (bonding, safety leave, caregiving leave, and military family leave).

Employees can take up to 12 weeks of leave in each of the two categories per benefit year. This doesn't mean employees get 24 weeks of leave, however. There is a cap. Employees who need leave from both categories may take up to 20 weeks total in a benefit year.

Leave reasons

Although the leave is broken down into two overall categories as noted above, there are five qualifying events for which an employee may take leave.

This includes leave for:

  1. The employee's own serious health condition (including pregnancy).
  2. To bond with a child (birth, adoption, or foster care).
  3. To care for a family member with a serious health condition.
  4. Due to a family member's military service.
  5. To deal with issues related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the employee or family member.

Unlike the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), under Minnesota law, family members include:

  • Siblings,
  • Grandchildren,
  • Grandparents,
  • Domestic partners, and
  • An individual with whom the employee has a relationship that creates an expectation and reliance that the employee care for the individual.

If the employee is eligible for both and the reason qualifies for both, federal FMLA and Minnesota paid leave may run concurrently.

Job reinstatement

Employees must be reinstated to their same job or an equivalent one, as long as they have worked for the employer for at least 90 calendar days.

Earned sick and safe leave also amended

Minnesota also amended its separate sick and safe leave, effective January 1, 2024. Employees earn one hour of this paid leave for every 30 hours worked for a total of 48 hours per year.

Key to Remember: Employers have another state to consider in relation to paid leave, as this trend continues. Employers with employees in Minnesota will need to prepare for the new paid family and medical leave law, as well as the changed earned sick and safe leave provisions.

This article was written by Darlene M. Clabault, SHRM-CP, PHR, CLMS, of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. The content of these news items, in whole or in part, MAY NOT be copied into any other uses without consulting the originator of the content.


The J. J. Keller LEAVE MANAGER service is your business resource for tracking employee leave and ensuring compliance with the latest Federal and State FMLA and leave requirements.