Article 14 -- Leaves of Absence
Section 1. General Conditions. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, request for leave shall be made by employees prior to the beginning of the period(s) of absence. Upon request of the employee, authorization for or denial of a leave of absence shall be furnished to the employee in writing by his/her supervisor. All requests for a leave of absence shall be answered by the supervisor promptly and shall include, upon request by the employee, a statement of the Appointing Authority's intent regarding whether or not the employee's position will be filled permanently. No leave of absence request shall be unreasonably denied and the reasons for a denial shall be given to the employee upon request. No employee shall be required to exhaust his/her accumulated vacation leave prior to an extended leave of absence.
Some leaves provided for in this Agreement may also qualify for federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) status.
An employee on an approved leave of absence is required to contact the Appointing Authority if an extension is being requested. Failure to contact the Appointing Authority about an extension prior to the end of the approved leave period shall be deemed to be a voluntary resignation and the employee shall be severed from state service.
Accrual of vacation and sick leave benefits shall continue during the period of a leave of absence with pay. If an employee is granted leave without pay, he/she will not be credited with vacation or sick leave accruals for the period of leave without pay unless otherwise indicated. When the Appointing Authority approves an unpaid leave of absence for an employee, the Appointing Authority shall advise the employee in writing of the steps the employee must take to continue insurance coverage.
Section 2. Leaves With Pay. Paid leaves of absence granted under this Article shall not exceed the employee's work schedule. Statutory leaves are listed in Appendix M.
A. Military Reserve Training. In accordance with Minn. Stat. 192.26, up to fifteen (15) working days leave per calendar year shall be granted to members of the National Guard or military or naval reserves of the United States or of the State of Minnesota who are ordered or authorized by the appropriate authorities to engage in training or active service. The employee shall make every reasonable effort to promptly inform the Appointing Authority of the dates of duty upon receiving any notification of duty. Such notice must occur within three (3) calendar days of the employee’s knowledge of the need for the leave.
B. Jury Duty. Leave shall be granted for selection of and service upon a jury. Employees whose scheduled shift is other than a day shift shall be reassigned to a day shift during the period of service upon a jury. When not impaneled for actual service and only on call, the employee shall report to work. Whenever practicable, the employee shall notify the Appointing Authority at least fourteen (14) days prior to his/her scheduled jury duty.
C. Court Appearance. Leave shall be granted for appearance before a court, legislative committee, or other judicial or quasi-judicial body in response to a subpoena or other direction of proper authority for job related purposes other than those instituted by the employee or the Association. Leave shall also be granted for attendance in court in connection with an employee's official duty, which shall include any necessary travel time. Such employee shall be paid the employee's regular rate of pay but shall remit to his/her Appointing Authority the amount received, exclusive of court-paid expenses, for serving as a witness, as required by the court.
D. Voting Time. Any employee who is entitled to vote in any statewide primary, Presidential primary, general election, or in an election to fill a vacancy in the office of a representative in Congress or in the office of state senator or state representative may absent himself/herself from work for the purpose of voting during such election day, provided the employee has made prior arrangements for such absence with his/her immediate supervisor.
E. Educational Leave. Leave shall be granted for educational purposes if such education is required by the Appointing Authority.
F. Emergency Leave. The Commissioner of Minnesota Management & Budget, after consultation with the Commissioner of Public Safety, may excuse employees from duty with full pay in the event of a natural or man-made emergency if continued operation would involve a threat to the health or safety of the individuals.
G. Leave to Serve as an Election Judge. Upon twenty (20) calendar days advance request, leave shall be granted for purposes of serving as an election judge in any election.
H. Transition Leave as a Result of Layoff. At the Appointing Authority’s discretion, an employee under notice of permanent layoff may continue in payroll status for up to eighty (80) hours of paid leave prior to his/her date of layoff. Such leave shall not be subject to the provisions of Section 5, Reinstatement After Leave, of this Article.
I. Transition Leave as a Result of Non-Certification. An employee who is non-certified from one Appointing Authority and who has rights back to return to a previous position with another Appointing Authority may be placed on paid transition leave by that receiving Appointing Authority for up to forty (40) hours from the effective date of the non-certification.
J. Investigatory Leave. See Article 8, Section 4.
K. Paid Administrative Leave. At the Appointing Authority’s discretion, an employee may be placed on paid administrative leave for up to thirty (30) calendar days when the employee has been involved in a critical incident or when his/her continued presence in the workplace poses a risk to the employee or the organization. The Association will be provided with notification at the time the employee is placed on the leave. The Commissioner of Minnesota Management & Budget may authorize the leave to be extended for a period not greater than another thirty (30) calendar days. Any extension(s) of longer duration must be mutually agreed to between the Appointing Authority and the Association. At the request of the Association, the Appointing Authority will provide information to the Association regarding the status of the employee on the leave. It is the Appointing Authority’s policy to return an employee to active duty status as soon as it is practical and prudent.
L. Leave to Participate in Labor-Management Committees. See Article 32, Section 2.
M. Blood Donation Leave. Leave shall be granted to an employee who participates in an Appointing Authority-sponsored blood drive.
N. Volunteer Firefighters and Rescue Workers. See Appendix M.
O. Paid Parental Leave.
1. Length of Leave. Paid parental leaves of absence of up to six (6) consecutive weeks shall be granted to eligible state employees who request such leave following the birth or adoption of a child.
2. Eligibility. Employees are eligible if they meet eligibility criteria for Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave, which generally means the employee has been employed by the Employer for twelve (12) months and has worked at least 1,250 hours during the year immediately preceding the leave. Paid parental leave (“PPL”) is available to employees who experience the following qualifying events:
- an employee or their spouse/partner gives birth to the employee’s child;
- a child is placed in the employee’s home for adoption; or
- a child is placed in the employee’s home to adjudicate parentage in cases of surrogacy when the employee is the intended parent.
3. Use. Eligible employees must complete PPL within six (6) months of the qualifying event. At the Appointing Authority’s discretion, employees may be allowed intermittent or reduced schedule use of leave, which must be completed within twelve (12) months of the qualifying event. PPL not used within the required timeframe shall not be carried over or cashed out.
4. Interaction with Other Leaves. Paid parental leave will run concurrently with any unpaid leave(s) that parents may be entitled to under other provisions of this Agreement or provided by law. Employees shall not receive other types of paid leave provided by this Agreement (e.g., sick, vacation, compensatory time) for hours for which they are receiving PPL.
Section 3. Unpaid Leaves of Absence. Statutory leaves are listed in Appendix M.
A. Unclassified Service. Leave may be granted to any classified employee to accept a position in the unclassified service of the State of Minnesota.
B. Educational Leave. Leave may be granted to an employee for educational purposes.
C. Military Leave. In accordance with Minn. Stat. 192.261, Subd. 1, and federal law, leave shall be granted to an employee who voluntarily or involuntarily enters into active military service, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, inactive duty training, or full-time National Guard duty in the armed forces of the United States for the period of military service, not to exceed five (5) years, plus such additional time as the employee may be required to serve pursuant to law. Leave time for service in the military shall be considered as paid leave for purposes of vacation leave and sick leave accrual.
Employees requesting such leave shall notify their immediate supervisor as soon as possible of the need for such leave. Such notice must occur within three (3) calendar days of the employee’s knowledge of the need for such leave.
At an employee’s request, an employee on unpaid military leave shall be allowed to supplement such leave with vacation leave in accordance with law. Any vacation leave used must have been accumulated prior to the start of the military leave. Prior to taking military leave, the employee shall be allowed a reasonable amount of time to meet with Human Resources to discuss and explain the rights and benefits available to the employee and his or her family while on military leave. At the request of the employee, a union steward or Association representative may be present.
D. Association Leave. Upon advanced written request of the Association, leave shall be granted to employees who are elected or appointed by the Association to serve on the Association's Master Negotiating Team. An employee may use vacation time, compensatory time, or a holiday for this purpose, at the employee's discretion. Leave time for service on the Association’s Master Negotiation Team shall be considered as paid leave for purposes of vacation and sick leave accrual, and holiday pay entitlement.
Association Representatives or other employees who may be elected or appointed by the Association to perform duties for the Association shall be granted time off, provided the granting of such time off does not adversely affect the operations of the employee's department or agency. Such leave shall not be unreasonably withheld. Upon the written request of the Association, leave shall be granted to employees who are elected officers or appointed full-time representatives of the Association. Annually, the Appointing Authority may request the Association to confirm the employee's continuation on Association leave. Leave time for service to the Association shall not be deducted for purposes of determining an employee's vacation accrual rate.
Association board members who are currently State employees and not on full-time leave shall have time spent performing board duties considered as paid leave for purposes of vacation, sick leave and holiday pay eligibility when they are on Association leave.
E. Parenthood. Parenthood leaves of absence shall be granted to a birth parent(s) or adoptive parent(s) and who requests such leave in conjunction with the birth or adoption of a child. Requests for parenthood leave shall be submitted at least six (6) weeks in advance of the anticipated due date or adoption date, if possible. However, such leave shall be requested within the first three (3) months following the birth or adoption of a child. Parenthood leave shall commence on the date requested by the employee, and shall continue up to six (6) months. If both parents elect to take Parenthood leave, such leave may be taken either concurrently or consecutively. Such leave must be completed within one (1) year following the birth or adoption of a child. Sick leave or vacation used following the birth or adoption of the child will run concurrently with the six (6) months of Parenthood leave.
Such leave may be extended up to a maximum of one (1) year by mutual consent between the employee and the Appointing Authority from the date of the event giving rise to the leave request.
F. Medical. Upon the request of a permanent employee who has exhausted all accrued sick leave, a leave of absence without pay shall be granted by the Appointing Authority for up to one (1) year because of sickness or injury to the employee. At the request of the employee, this leave may be extended at the discretion of the Appointing Authority. An employee requesting a medical leave of absence shall be required to furnish evidence of disability to the Appointing Authority. When the Appointing Authority has evidence that an employee's absence from duty is unnecessary or if the employee fails to undergo an evaluation or furnish such reports as are required by the Appointing Authority, the Appointing Authority shall have the right to require the employee to return to work on a specified date.
G. Personal Leave. Leave may be granted upon request of an employee for personal reasons. No such leave shall be granted for the purpose of securing other employment, except as provided in this Article.
H. Political Caucus/Convention. Upon ten (10) days advance request, leave shall be granted to any employee for the purpose of attending a political caucus/convention. An employee may use vacation leave, compensatory time, or a holiday for this purpose, at the employee's discretion.
I. Related Work. Leave not to exceed one (1) year may be granted to an employee to accept a position of fixed duration outside of State service which is funded by a government or private foundation grant and which is related to the employee's current work.
J. Unpaid Administrative Leave. At the Appointing Authority’s discretion, an employee may be placed on unpaid administrative leave when the employee is unable to work because of the temporary absence of a license, completed background check, or other credentials required for his/her position. After verification of reinstatement of license, successful background check or credentials required for the position, the employee shall be reinstated subject to the reinstatement provisions of Section 5, Reinstatement After Leave. For informational purposes, the Association shall be notified at the time the employee is placed on the Unpaid Administrative Leave.
K. Leave to Vote in Tribal Elections. An employee who is eligible to vote in a tribal election shall be entitled to the time needed to vote, not to exceed one day, provided that mail ballots are not being used and the election is not being conducted on the employee’s regularly scheduled day off.
The day off shall be taken without pay unless the employee elects to use accumulated vacation leave, a floating holiday or accumulated compensatory time. Alternatively, the Appointing Authority and employee may mutually agree to have the employee make up the time.
The employee shall notify the Appointing Authority at least twenty-one (21) calendar days prior to the leave.
L. Leave for Death or Injury of Military Personnel. See Appendix M.
M. Leave to Attend Military Ceremonies. See Appendix M. Section 4. Cancellation of Discretionary Leaves. Discretionary leaves of absence or extensions of such leaves may be canceled by an Appointing Authority for reasonable cause upon written notice to the employee unless the Appointing Authority agrees in writing at the time the leave is granted that the leave will not be canceled.
Section 5. Reinstatement After Leave. Any employee returning from an approved leave of absence as covered by this Article shall be entitled to return to employment in his/her former position or another position in his/her former classification/class option or a position of comparable duties and pay, providing such return is in his/her former seniority unit. Any employee returning from an approved leave of absence of six (6) months or less shall also be entitled to return within thirty-five (35) miles of the employee's old work location. Notwithstanding the above, if a layoff occurs during the period that the employee is on an approved leave of absence, such an employee is subject to layoff with full rights and options consistent with the terms of Article 17 of this Agreement. Should an employee on an approved leave of absence be laid off while on leave, that employee's return rights shall be determined by the employee's new work location (if any), chosen as an option under Article 17. Employees returning from extended leaves of absence of one (1) month or more shall notify their Appointing Authority at least two (2) weeks prior to their return from leave. An employee returning from an unpaid leave of absence shall be returned at the same rate of pay the employee had been receiving at the time the leave of absence commenced plus any automatic adjustments that would have been made had the employee been continuously employed during the period of absence. At the discretion of the Appointing Authority, an employee may terminate his/her leave of absence prior to the previously agreed upon date of expiration of that leave of absence.