Employment Law Update: Paid Family and Medical Leave & Sick/Safe Time Set to be Signed into Law

Blog written by Blethen Berens, a Greater Mankato Growth Bronze Investor.

Important changes impacting Minnesota employers have passed the MN House and MN Senate and are set to be signed by Governor Walz. A brief overview of what you need to know:

Paid Family and Medical Leave

The final version of Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation has been passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate, and Governor Walz has indicated he is ready to sign the bill. The final bill provides annual maximum paid benefits of up to 20 weeks in a year for bonding, family care, medical care related to pregnancy, serious health conditions, qualifying exigencies, or safety leave. Benefits will be available to employees beginning January 1, 2026. The program will be funded with a payroll tax of 0.7%, at least one-half of which will be paid by the employer. The bill also contains definitions of family members, eligible conditions/uses, and how employers can opt out by offering at least an equally generous benefit.

Sick and Safe Time

The Sick and Safe Time bill, which is separate and distinct from the Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation, has also passed the MN House and MN Senate and is ready for Governor Walz’s signature. Under this bill, full- and part-time employees working for at least 80 hours per year can earn up to 1 hour of time off for every 30 hours of work, with a limit of 48 hours accumulated each year and an 80-hour cumulative total with carry-over hours. This time is to be used for paid time off if employees or their family members are ill, face a threat to their safety, need to recover from illness or injury, the employee’s place of business has been closed due to weather or other public emergency, or their family member’s school or place of care has been closed due to weather or public emergency. The rights and obligations under this bill take effect January 1, 2024.

More Information & Upcoming Webinar

Employers will have nearly six months to prepare before the sick and safe time provisions go into effect and a little over two years to prepare for paid family and medical leave implementation. The employment law attorneys at Blethen Berens are working quickly to fully understand the intricacies of this legislation and to provide more comprehensive guidance to employers very soon. Additionally, Blethen Berens and Abdo Workforce Solutions will be hosting a webinar on these laws soon – we will provide the date, time, and registration information on our website and social media accounts.