New law expands employees’ ability to use sick leave to care for family members

A new Minnesota law, which took effect Aug. 1, expands when employees can use sick leave. Employees can now use accrued sick leave for absences due to an illness or injury to the employee’s child, adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent and stepparent. (Previously, use of accrued sick leave was generally restricted to the employee and the employee’s dependent child.)

The new law clarifies the definition of “child” to include biological child, stepchild, adopted or foster child. The definition also clarifies that the age of a “child” is either under age 18, or under age 20 if the child is still attending secondary school.

According to the law, sick leave to care for family members is granted on the same basis as use of sick leave for the employee’s own illness or injury. Employees should check their labor agreement or Civil Services Rules to see what documentation may be required (medical certificate or doctor’s note, for example). 

Additional information and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents can be viewed on the Benefits website.


Published Aug 7, 2013