On August 1, 2013, S.F.
840, expanding employees' sick leave benefits, took effect.
Minnesota law previously
provided that an employee receiving sick leave benefits could use that time to
care for a sick child, but it did not extend to other relatives. Under the new
law, an employee may use sick leave benefits provided by the employer for
absences due to illness or injury not only for the employee's child, but also
for the employee's adult child, spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, or
stepparent, on the same terms upon which the employee is able to use sick leave
benefits for the employee's own illness or injury. The full text of the revised
statute may be found here
The new law does allow an
employer to limit an employee's use of sick leave benefits for absences due to
illness or injury of the employee's adult child, spouse, sibling, parent,
grandparent, or stepparent, though this limit can be no less than 160 hours in
any 12-month period, and does not apply to absences due to illness or injury of
an employee's child.
Employers should review
their sick leave benefits policies and make necessary revisions to ensure
compliance with the revised law. Employers may alternatively consider replacing
sick leave policies with more general paid time off ("PTO") policies,
which could be drafted in such a way as to encompass sick leave. Employers
should evaluate the potential economic and administrative impact this law
change would have on existing policies and procedures, and consider whether it
makes sense to adopt a broader PTO policy.
If you have any questions
regarding the new sick leave law or any other employment topic, please contact
any Employment Law
attorney at Winthrop & Weinstine