Family and medical leave (FMLA)

To be eligible for family and medical leave, an employee must:

  • Have been employed by Hennepin County for at least 12 months
  • Have worked for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of the leave
  • Have not exhausted his/her FMLA entitlement in the current payroll calendar year 
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Leave entitlement

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are entitled to 12 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in the current payroll calendar year for:

  • The birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth
  • The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty"
  • 26 work weeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin to the employee (military caregiver leave)

Concurrent leaves

FMLA runs concurrent with an employee’s:

  • Paid leave (sick, vacation and/or PTO) and
  • All other types of leave including, but not limited to workers’ compensation, medical leave, Minnesota Parental Leave Act, and special leave without pay

How to request FMLA

Step one

Notify your supervisor you will be absent. Follow department policies and procedures.

Step two

For sheriff employees

For all other county employees

Complete the leave of absence form for any of the following circumstances:

  • You are absent from work due to a medical condition lasting more than three days
  • Your absence is due to a serious medical condition
  • Your absence is due to treatment of a serious medical condition (examples: cancer, asthma, heart disease)
  • A spouse, child, or parent (in loco parentis) with a serious medical condition requires your care
  • You or your partner/spouse are having a baby
  • You are adopting a child or a foster child is being placed in your home

If you qualify for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, you may be entitled to:

  • Up to 12 weeks FMLA job-protected leave per payroll year
  • Health care benefits maintenance
  • Job restoration when returning from FMLA leave

Leave of absence request form (county access is required to view/complete this form. Speak to your supervisor if you do not have county access and s/he will complete the form on your behalf). 

Step three

Your supervisor will provide the necessary certification form. Return the completed certification form to the Leave and Accommodation Management Office within 15 days.

  • For a serious medical condition: Have your physician complete the certification form.
  • If you are having a baby: Have your physician complete the certification form.
  • If your spouse/partner is having a baby: Have your spouse/partner's physician complete the certification form.
  • If a spouse, child, or parent with a serious medical condition requires your care: Have the physician complete the certification form.
  • For an adoption or a foster child placed in your home: Have the agency complete the Certification of Adoption or Foster Care Placement form.

Return the form by:

  • Fax: 612-466-9391 or
  • Mail:
    Leave and Accommodation Management Office
    300 S 6th St.
    A-400 Government Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55487-0040

A Leave and Accommodation Management coordinator will send a designation form, approving or denying the leave request.

Step four (optional)

To find out how paid leave, FMLA, short-term disability (if applicable) and the vacation or PTO donation program (if applicable) run concurrently when you are absent from work for a block of time (i.e., scheduled surgery), email a request to hr.lam.office@hennepin.us.

If you will be on leave for childbirth or adoption, complete the parental leave scenario request form.

Step five

If an FMLA leave has been approved, leave time should be coded on timesheets in addition to sick leave, PTO or other paid leave codes. Your supervisor will complete your timesheet if you are not at work.

  • Time Reporting Code = Sick - SCK or Vacation - VAC or PTO (In some cases workers' comp or unpaid leave may be appropriate)
  • Task = FMLA

Step six

Notify the Leave and Accommodation Management Office of your intent to return to work at least two days prior.

Provide any necessary medical release, as indicated on your designation form, to the Leave and Accommodation Management Office.

Return the form by:

  • Fax: 612-466-9391 or
  • Mail:
    Leave and Accommodation Management Office
    300 S 6th St.
    A-400 Government Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55487-0040

Frequently asked questions

What if I don't qualify for FMLA?

You may be eligible for:

Will I be paid when I am not at work?

If eligible and approved, you may use paid time off (PTO) or sick leave and vacation (depending on when you were hired) when you complete your timesheet on APEX.

What happens if I've used all my PTO or sick leave and vacation?

Several income replacement options are available to you.

Where can I read more about FMLA?

Download the Department of Labor fact sheet on employee protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (PDF).

Where can I get help?

Get more information from the Leave and Accommodation Management Office at 612-348-4082.

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