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Labor Standards -- State Parental Leave Act, federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)



A quick-reference guide

baby's faceThere is both a Minnesota Parental Leave Act and a federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The federal FMLA became effective in August 1993. This act does not pre-empt or preclude state or local laws that provide greater leave rights, nor does it interfere with state or federal laws prohibiting discrimination. The following outline offers a basic comparison between the major provisions of the federal FMLA and Minnesota's Parental Leave Act.

 

Note:  If you are a member of the U.S. armed services, you may have additional leave rights under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). For more information, call the U.S. Department of Labor at (612) 370-3341.

Which employers are included?


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Federal -- All state, local and federal public-sector employers and private-sector employers with 50 or more employees

State -- Employers with 21 or more workers at any one site

 

Which employees are included?


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Federal -- Employees who have been employed with a qualifying employer for the past 12 consecutive months and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months

State -- Employees who have been employed with a qualifying employer for at least 12 consecutive months, and for an average of one-half the full-time equivalent position in the employee's job classification during those 12 months.

 

What do the acts provide?


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Federal -- Twelve weeks unpaid leave in a 12-month period as selected by the employer in an FMLA policy

State -- Six weeks unpaid leave

Federal -- Continued coverage for health care premiums with payment on the same basis as prior to leave

State -- Continued health insurance coverage but employee can be required to pay the full cost of coverage

Federal -- Guaranteed return to previous job or equivalent position

State -- Same guarantee as federal

 

What situations give rise to a request for leave?


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Federal -- The birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child

State -- Includes birth and adoption, but not foster care placement

Federal -- The employee's serious health condition or that of a child, spouse, parent or next of kind (with special provisions for relatives injured or deployed in military service, including military caregiver leave and qualifying exigency leave)

State -- Minnesota does not have any medical leave (paid or unpaid) available other than the use of the employee's sick leave for themselves or their sick minor child, adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent or step-parent. However, an employer is not mandated to offer sick leave to its employees.

 

Which employees qualify for leave?


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Federal -- One who has worked for the employer for a cumulative period of 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the 12-month period prior to requesting the leave

State -- The employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the request and averaged at least one-half the full-time equivalent position in the employee's job classification during those 12 months

 

Where can the acts be found?


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Federal -- 29 CFR 825, 29 USC 2601

State -- Minnesota Statutes 181.940

 

Where is more information available?


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Federal -- Family and Medical Leave Act, U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, (612) 370-3341

State -- Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Labor Standards, (651) 284-5070 or dli.laborstandards@state.mn.us

 

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