Medical leave protection

June 14, 2023

Employment Law

Understanding Minnesota’s New Medical Leave Act: Eligibility, Leave Duration, Paid Leave, Job Protection, and Implications

Minnesota has taken a significant step towards supporting its workforce by enacting a new medical leave act, guaranteeing paid leave for eligible employees. The implementation of this law marks a pivotal moment in providing workers with the necessary support and time off to address their medical needs. In this blog post, we will delve into the key aspects of Minnesota’s new medical leave act and highlight the crucial information you need to know.

Understanding Minnesota’s Medical Leave Act

Minnesota’s medical leave act ensures that eligible employees have the right to take a designated amount of paid leave for medical purposes. This legislation acknowledges the importance of supporting employees’ health and well-being while balancing the needs of employers.

Key Features of the Medical Leave Act

  1. Eligibility: The medical leave act applies to all private employers with at least 21 employees. Additionally, employees are eligible for medical leave if they have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months and have accumulated at least 1,040 hours of work during that period.
  2. Leave Duration: Under the new law, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of medical leave within a 12-month period. This leave can be used for various medical reasons, including personal illness, injury, or medical appointments, as well as caring for a family member with a serious health condition.
  3. Paid Leave: Minnesota’s medical leave act mandates that eligible employees receive payment during their medical leave. The law requires employers to provide 60% of the employee’s regular wages, up to a maximum weekly benefit amount determined annually by the Commissioner of Labor and Industry.
  4. Job Protection: Employees who take medical leave are entitled to job protection. This means that upon returning from their leave, they must be reinstated to their previous position or an equivalent position with the same benefits, pay, and terms of employment.
  5. Notice and Certification: Employees must provide reasonable notice to their employer before taking medical leave, except in cases of emergencies. In certain situations, the employer may also require certification from a healthcare provider to verify the need for medical leave.

Implications and Benefits

Minnesota’s medical leave act brings numerous benefits to both employees and employers and complements, rather than replaces, the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). For employees, it provides the opportunity to prioritize their health without worrying about lost income. This ensures a healthier and more productive workforce. Employers, on the other hand, benefit from reduced turnover and improved employee loyalty, as well as compliance with legal obligations.


Minnesota’s new medical leave act represents a significant milestone in supporting employees’ well-being and ensuring they have access to paid leave for medical reasons. This legislation emphasizes the state’s commitment to protecting workers’ rights while acknowledging the importance of work-life balance. As an eligible employee, it is crucial to understand your rights and obligations under the medical leave act. Employers should also familiarize themselves with the provisions of the law to ensure compliance. By fostering a supportive work environment, Minnesota aims to create healthier and more resilient communities while promoting employee satisfaction and productivity.