Family Military Leave Handbook Statement: Minnesota

Author: Amy E. Mendenhall, Marissa L. Dragoo, Corinn Jackson, and Judith A. Paulson, Littler

When to Include This Statement

Minnesota employers should consider including this statement in their handbook to inform employees about the availability of various types of family military leave and to demonstrate compliance with Minnesota law.

Customizable Handbook Statement

Family Military Leave

Employees will be given time off to attend a send-off or homecoming ceremony for an immediate family member who is a member of the United States armed forces and has been ordered into active service in support of a war or other national emergency, unless the time off would unduly disrupt the operations of the Company. For purposes of this leave, "immediate family member" means an employee's grandparent, parent, legal guardian, sibling, child, spouse, fiancé or fiancée. The time off will be limited to the actual time necessary to attend the send-off or homecoming ceremony for the mobilized service member, not to exceed one day in any calendar year.

Additionally, employees who are the spouse, parent or child of a member of the United States or state military forces will be allowed a reasonable amount of unpaid time off, not to exceed two consecutive days or six days in a calendar year, to attend:

  • The departure or return ceremonies for deploying or returning military personnel or units;
  • Family training or readiness events sponsored or conducted by the military; and
  • Events held as part of official military reintegration programs.

Employees must provide reasonable notice when requesting time off for these purposes. Employees will not be required to use vacation time.

Employees will also be allowed a leave of absence of up to 10 working days in the event that an immediate family member is injured or killed while engaged in active service as a member of the United States armed forces. For purposes of this leave, "immediate family members" include an employee's parent, child, grandparent, sibling or spouse. Employees must give as much notice to the Company as practicable of the intent to take this leave. The Company may require employees to use any available paid leave.

[OPTIONAL FOR EMPLOYERS COVERED BY THE FEDERAL FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT: Where applicable and allowed by law, time off under this policy will run concurrently with time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.]

Time of under this policy will be unpaid, except that exempt employees will be paid when required by applicable federal or state law.

The Company will not discriminate or retaliate against employees who request or take leave in accordance with this policy.

Employees with questions about this policy, or who would like to request a leave of absence should contact Human Resources [or insert name/contact details for appropriate company representative or department].

Guidance for Employers

  • Minnesota law provides various types of family military leave.
  • Employers must grant the immediate family member (parent, child, grandparent, sibling or spouse) of a person killed or injured while on active duty in the military up to 10 days of unpaid leave. Employers have the right to require that employees use any paid leave, except for sick or medical leave, prior to taking any unpaid leave. Under the law, the term "employee" includes any person, including independent contractors, working for the employer for any compensation.
  • Employers are required to provide up to one day of unpaid leave for the immediate family member of a person ordered to or returning from active duty to attend the send-off ceremony or homecoming.
  • Minnesota employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against an employee for attending departure or return ceremonies, family training or readiness events, or reintegration programs related to the military service of a spouse (including a same-sex spouse), parent or child to which the employee is invited or otherwise called upon to attend. The law permits an employee to take unpaid time off for such events, not to exceed two consecutive days or six days in a calendar year. An employee may not be compelled to use vacation time for this type of leave.
  • Same-sex marriage is legal in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, but Minnesota does not recognize domestic partnerships. An employer must provide leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and/or leave under this policy to eligible same-sex spouses who are legally married and live in Minnesota.
  • Supervisors should be trained regarding how to respond to requests for leave so that they do not take any adverse actions (e.g., termination, demotion) against employees who are eligible for leave and who request or take leave.

Additional Resources

Family and Medical Leave Handbook Statement: Federal