There is no Minnesota state law requiring private employers to grant their employees sick leave, paid or unpaid, although many employers do grant it as a common employee benefit.
It is important to remember, however, that if sick leave is promised, an employer may create a legal obligation to grant it. Employers should regularly review statements made in handbooks or elsewhere to ensure that they accurately reflect current policies. If changes are necessary, the policy should be revised and employees notified of the changes.
Under Minnesota's Pregnancy and Parental Leave Act (PPLA), eligible employees are entitled to unpaid leave for a variety of reasons including birth or adoption of a child; for an employee’s own prenatal care or incapacity due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related health conditions; for safety leave for victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse, or stalking; and to attend school events and activities.
The PPLA also has several requirements relating to the use or other interaction of paid sick leave entitlements:
Leave to care for a sick or injured relative. The PPLA requires covered employers to permit employees to use their personal sick leave benefits for absences due to an illness or injury of the employee’s covered family members, for reasonable periods of time as the employee's attendance may be necessary, on the same terms on which the employee is able to use sick leave benefits for the employee's own illness or injury ( MN Stat. Sec. 181.941-181.944).
The PPLA does not require that employers provide employees sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. But, if the ...