Minnesota sick leave requirements

minnesota department of labor and industry

Wage and Hour Bulletin

March 2020

Minnesota sick leave requirements

With COVID-19 on Minnesotans' minds, it's a good time to review the state's sick leave laws. The information below explains Minnesota sick leave requirements and other related laws and resources.

What is required?

An employer that allows an employee to take time off for their own injury or illness, regardless of what the employer calls the leave (sick leave, PTO, personal leave, etc.), must also allow the employee to take time off to care for:

  1. an ill or injured minor child, adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or stepparent in the same manner the employer would allow an employee to use the leave for themselves; and
  2. themselves or a relative (as listed above) to provide or receive assistance
    because of sexual assault, domestic abuse or stalking (see Minnesota Statutes § 181.9413).

Who is covered?

  • Employees who have worked for the employer for at least 12 months.
  • Employees who worked at least half-time during the past 12 months.
  • Employers that have 21 or more employees at one site.
  • Employers who offer personal sick leave benefits for absence from work due to an employee's illness or injury.

Are employers required to offer sick leave?

Employers are not required to provide personal sick leave benefits. However, some employers are required to allow eligible employees to be absent from work under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, provisions of the Minnesota Pregnancy and Parental Leave Law or under sick and safe time ordinances in Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Paid sick leave, time off

The law does not require that sick leave be paid. However, if the employer provides paid time off for the illness or injury of the worker, time off for the illness or injury of a family member must also be paid.

Additional resources and information

  1. Family Medical Leave Act
  2. Duluth sick and safe time leave
  3. Minneapolis sick and safe time leave
  4. St. Paul sick and safe time leave
  5. Minnesota OSHA COVID-19 information
  6. Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 employer guidance
  7. Minnesota worker protections related to COVID-19
  8. COVID-19 or other public health emergencies and the Fair Labor Standards Act questions and answers

  9. COVID-19 or other public health emergencies and the Family and Medical Leave Act questions and answers


Labor Standards serves the citizens of Minnesota by providing 
information about the state's wage, hour and employment laws.

 Phone:  651-284-5075 or 800-342-5354
Email:  dli.laborstandards@state.mn.us 
Website:  www.dli.mn.gov