Minnesota Paid Family & Medical Leave

Compliance, Employee Benefits

On May 25, 2023, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed Minnesota’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program into law. Beginning January 1, 2026, employee and employer contributions towards the PFML fund start and eligible employees will be able to apply for a monetary benefit that equals a percentage of their weekly wage while out on leave.

Covered Employers and Employees

All employers with employees in Minnesota, regardless of employer size or number of employees in Minnesota, are covered by PFML.

Minnesota employees earning at least 5.3% of Minnesota’s average weekly wage over the four most recently completed calendar quarters are eligible for benefits. Certain seasonal employees are not covered by PFML and will make not contributions towards PFML nor receive PFML benefits.

Reasons for Taking Leave and Length of Leave

  • Family leave can be taken for: Caring for a family member with a serious health condition; Absence due to the domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of an employee or their family member; Bonding with a biological, adoptive, or foster child in conjunction with the child’s birth, adoption, or placement; Qualifying military exigency.
  • Medical leave can be taken for: Employee’s own serious health condition; Medical care related to pregnancy including prenatal care or incapacity due to pregnancy or recovery from childbirth, stillbirth, miscarriage, or related health condition.

Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of family leave and up to 12 weeks of medical leave. However, employees are limited to a combined 20 weeks of family and medical leave in one year. Employers can require leave taken under the PFML program to run concurrently with Federal Family and Medical Leave and Minnesota state pregnancy and parenting leave if taken for the same purpose.

PFML Premiums

PFML is funded through payroll deductions of 0.7% of an employee’s wages up to the Social Security contribution limit. Employers must contribute at least half of this amount (0.35%) and employees can be required to contribute the remaining portion. Employers with fewer than 30 employees are able to pay are reduced premium amount, though this does not affect employee’s contributions.

For employers only participating in the family leave program the contribution percentage drops to 0.3%. If an employer only participates in the medical leave program, the contribution percentage is 0.4%.

Private Plan

Employers are able to provide the benefits required by PFML through a private plan that has been approved by the State of Minnesota. Employers can use a private plan to provide all PFML benefits, just family leave benefits, or just medical leave benefits. If employers chose only to participate in the family program or the medical program, the required premium contribution is adjusted as described above.

Key Takeaways:

While Minnesota’s PFML law does not go into effect until 2026, employers would be well served to monitor regulations from the State and review their obligations under the law to begin planning how they will comply with its requirements when the law goes into effect.

The information provided is a summary of laws and regulations relating to employee benefit plan compliance. This information should not be construed as legal advice. In all cases, employers should consult with their own legal counsel.

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