I’m sure that new parents will be interested to see that the state of Minnesota has made many provisions above and beyond those of the Federal government for Parental Leave from work. They have not made any specific rules governing leave if you happen to be sick.
For example, if you have a baby or adopt one and your employer has 21 or more employees on one job site, the employer must offer you parental leave. I am happy to see that this can be for both the mother AND the father. In order to be eligible for that leave, you must have worked at least half time (twenty hours a week) for the 12 months preceding your leave.
It is my understanding that your leave may begin not more than six weeks after the birth or adoption occurs. If you have paid parental leave which you want to run concurrently with the unpaid leave, you may still be limited to 6 weeks unless the employer agrees that you can take more time off. Your employer cannot retaliate against you if you ask for leave. If you need income, you do have an option of returning part-time to your job during the leave without giving up the right to your full-time job at the end of the leave.
If you’re a working parent and your child becomes ill, you can use your sick time to care for a sick child. You can even take time off up to 16 hrs to attend your child’s school functions like classroom activities and conferences.
I noticed that your health insurance during the 6 weeks of unpaid leave must be continued, but the employer has the right to ask you to pay for it during that period of time. Upon returning to the job, the employer has to offer you a comparable position to the one that you left, and you’ll still have the same benefits and seniority that you had before the leave.
All of the Minnesota labor information can be found along side the federal laws on the Minnesota Complete Labor Law poster.