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Minnesota PTO Law

Minnesota PTO Law: All About PTO Laws in Minnesota

Minnesota Paid Time Off (PTO) policies are an integral part of the laws that employers must know to ensure businesses can operate effectively. As a Minnesota business owner, you should base your company policies on Minnesota PTO law, including vacation, sick, and personal leave.

This article explores the Minnesota PTO payout laws in detail so you can create work policies that extend beyond mere compliance. Well-implemented PTO policies can improve employee satisfaction, reduce burnout, and increase retention rates.

Minnesota’s PTO laws are varied, depending on what type of leave employers want. There are specific laws and regulations related to various kinds of leaves, including sick, maternity, paternity, bereavement, jury duty, military, and voting leave. 

We take a closer look at each of these types of leaves.

1. Sick leave

Minnesota follows the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Minnesota Earned Sick and Safe Leave law. Both these laws require employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. 

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal labor law in the United States that provides eligible employees with certain job-protected leave entitlements for specific family and medical reasons. It does not apply to all employers but only applies to employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the worksite. However, public agencies, including local, state, and federal employers, are covered by the FMLA regardless of the number of employees.

An employee must have worked with the current employer for at least 12 months to be eligible for sick leave under FMLA. Also, employees should have accumulated at least 1,250 service hours during the 12 months. 

The qualifying reasons for sick leave for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave are: 

  • For the employee’s serious health condition. 
  • To care for a spouse, child, or parent with a severe health condition.
  • For the birth and care of a newborn child or the placement of a child through adoption or foster care.
  • To address particular qualifying exigencies for individuals working in the military. For such people, sick leave can be up to 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave within 12 months.

Under this law, employees accrue sick leave based on the hours worked. Employers with 21 or more employees must provide paid sick leave, while smaller employers must provide unpaid sick leave. This leave can be used for the employee’s illness, a family member’s illness, or safety-related reasons. Employers must comply with the specific requirements outlined in the law to ensure employees receive their entitled sick leave benefits. For more details, refer to Minnesota Paid Sick and Safe Leave.

Minnesota Earned Sick and Safe Leave (ESSL) law allows employees to take up to 48 hours of paid sick leave per year. The new law applies to all private employers and was enacted on January 1, 2024.

The allocated sick leave time can be used for any of the following reasons: 

  • Employee’s illness, injury, or other medical condition
  • To care for a sick, injured, or suffering family member 
  • To recover from domestic abuse, etc. 

2. Maternity, Paternity & FMLA

Minnesota follows federal laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). It includes certain protections and benefits for maternity and paternity leave. FMLA ensures eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. It is applicable for both mothers and fathers who can use the leave to take care of the child or adjust to an adopted child. 

Minnesota employers are also subject to the Minnesota Pregnancy and Parental Leave Act. It also grants eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for pregnancy, child care, parental care, or other related medical needs. 

The eligibility for maternity and paternity leave under the Minnesota Pregnancy and Parental Leave Act is the same as for FMLA. Furthermore, employees must understand the specific company policies and requirements that apply to their situation.

3. Bereavement leave

Minnesota has no specific state law requiring employers to provide bereavement leave. As an employer in the state, you are not obligated to offer time off for bereavement. However, many employers offer bereavement leave as part of their benefits package or employment policies. The availability and duration of bereavement leave are at the employer’s sole discretion. Also, employers should communicate these policies with their employees so they are aware of the company’s stance on bereavement leave. 

4. Jury duty leave

Minnesota law requires employers to provide unpaid leave for employees summoned to serve on a jury. Employers cannot penalize or retaliate against employees for fulfilling their civic duty by serving on a jury. 


The duration of jury duty leave can vary depending on the trial or jury service length. Minnesota law does not require employers to pay employees regular wages or salaries while serving on a jury. However, the court pays such employees $20.00 a day and reimbursement on mileage for travel. Upon completing their jury duty service, employees must be reinstated to their previous positions with the same terms and conditions of employment. Employers must treat employees returning from jury duty service as if they had been continuously employed during the leave period.

5. Military leave

Military leave in Minnesota is governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). It provides certain rights and protections for employees who serve in the military or National Guard. Under the military leave, employees must provide advance notice to their employers when called to active duty or required to participate in military training or drills. 


Minnesota state law also provides additional security to employees under the military leave laws. This includes: 


  • Up to 4 years of unpaid leave to serve in the military to the members of the National Guard 
  • Up to 10 days of unpaid leave to an employee related to an individual in military who has been injured or killed in active duty. 
  • Up to 1 day of unpaid leave a year to an employee; an immediate family member of a member of the US armed forces.
  • Minnesota employers with 20 or more employees at the exact location must grant unpaid leave to serve in the Civil Air Patrol.


All employers in the state are generally required to grant leave for the duration of the military service and are prohibited from terminating or penalizing employees for fulfilling their military obligations.

6. Voting Leave

Minnesota law allows employees who are eligible voters to take paid time off to vote in a state primary, general, or special election. It applies to all eligible voters, full-time and part-time employees and temporary workers.

There are no specific rules for the time off, and the law requires employers to provide employees with “sufficient paid time” to vote during state elections. The time off may vary depending on the employee’s work schedule and the polling hours. Employers have discretion in determining when employees can take time off to vote.

By Minnesota law, employers are prohibited from interfering with or penalizing employees for taking time off to vote. Retaliation or discrimination against employees exercising their voting leave rights is illegal.

What happens to Accruals under Minnesota PTO law?

No Minnesota PTO law mandates employers to provide their employees paid time off (PTO) or vacation accruals. Instead, the state allows employers to establish their PTO policies and determine whether and how employees accrue and use PTO.

As an employer, you can establish an accrual system to decide the rate employees accrue PTO, such as a certain number of hours per pay period or based on years of service. It can also include the rules for using accrued PTO, including when employees can take time off and any restrictions or requirements for requesting PTO.


If an employer decides to offer accruals in the benefits package, they should communicate the policies clearly in the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement that specifies PTO accruals and usage; both the employer and employee must adhere to the terms of the agreement.

What happens to roll-over/carry-over time-off under Minnesota PTO law?

Minnesota is one of the states that allow use-it-or-lose-it policy. Hence, employers are not required to provide the roll-over or carry-over of accrued paid time off (PTO) from one year to the next. It is at the discretion of employers to establish their policies regarding the treatment of unused PTO.

Employers can set caps on the amount of PTO accrued or carried over. Capping the carry-over time off ensures that employees only accrue a few paid days, which can hinder business operations.

Employers should ensure that their PTO policies are consistently applied to all employees and adhere to any applicable employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements.

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay

In Minnesota, earned vacation pay is termed as wages. Employers must adhere to their established policy or employment contract if they offer vacation pay. This includes any stipulations regarding the accrual, use, and payment of vacation pay.

If an employer’s policy states that vacation pay is earned, then under Minnesota law, it may be considered wages and could be due upon termination of employment. Employers should communicate their vacation pay policies to employees to avoid misunderstandings.

Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination

No Minnesota PTO payout laws require employers to offer the payment of accrued, unused vacation upon termination. Employers have the discretion to create policies and practices regarding the payment of accrued vacation time upon termination. Employers may have “use it or lose it” policies, which means that employees forfeit any accrued, unused vacation time if it is not taken before termination.

If there is an employment contract, collective bargaining agreement, or individual agreement regarding payment of accrued PTO on termination, the employer and employee must adhere to the terms of that agreement. Employers should communicate their policies regarding the payment of accrued vacation upon termination to employees. Likewise, employees should review and understand their employer’s policy and consult HR or management for clarification.

Minnesota State Holidays in 2024

Here is a list of Minnesota state holidays for 2024. Please note that holidays falling on Saturday are observed on Friday; holidays that fall on Sunday are observed on Monday.

Holiday Date in 2024 General Date
New Year’s Day 2024 Monday, January 1 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Monday, February 19 3rd Monday in February
Memorial Day Monday, May 27 Last Monday in May
Juneteenth Wednesday, June 19 June 19
Independence Day Thursday, July 4 July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 2 1st Monday in September
Veterans Day Monday, November 11 November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 28 4th Thursday of November
Day after Thanksgiving Friday, November 29 Friday after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day Wednesday, Dec. 25 December 25

How does Truein help with paid time-off management?

Truein is more than a time and attendance tracking software; it is a comprehensive solution that helps set time-off policies and manage paid time-off effectively. 

With Truein, employers can automate the leave request workflow. Employees can submit leave requests on the system, which then can be routed to the appropriate managers for approval. Then, managers can review and approve or deny requests directly within the system, ensuring consistency and compliance with company policies.

Its AI-backed algorithms and face recognition tech ensure attendance tracking is accurate. It automatically calculates and tracks employees’ PTO accruals based on company policies and employment agreements. Furthermore, companies can use available customizable leave policy templates to define various leave types, such as vacation, sick leave, personal days, or holidays, and customize rules and accrual rates for each type to align with their specific policies. When employees and managers have real-time visibility into leave balances, pending requests, and historical leave data, they can make decisions regarding time off more efficiently.

Truein is the ultimate leave management system that you can use to ensure compliance with state and federal laws related to PTO, including tracking accrued leave, calculating paid sick leave, and managing carry-over policies. Learn more about Truein’s leave management features.


Adhering to Minnesota PTO law is essential for employers. It avoids legal issues and ensures fair compensation for their employees. Our comprehensive guide on MN PTO laws will help employers understand the rules and exemptions regarding PTO and how to ensure compliance with the state and federal rules. By staying informed and utilizing modern tools like Truein for leave management, employers can confidently navigate Minnesota PTO laws, ultimately contributing to a fair and prosperous work environment for all.

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