Medical leave

Permanent and probational county employees are eligible for medical leave.

  • If you are an employee with sick leave and vacation — Before you can be placed on medical leave, you must exhaust all of your paid sick leave. Certain labor agreements require you to exhaust all paid leave (sick leave, vacation leave, and compensatory time). For details, consult applicable labor agreement.
  • If you are an employee with paid time off (PTO) — You can request medical leave without having to exhaust all of your PTO. You may elect to preserve all – or a portion – of your PTO before being placed on medical leave. You should inform your supervisor in writing if you wish to preserve some or all of your PTO.

Duration of medical leave

Eligible employees may be granted up to 180 calendar days in any 12 month period upon exhaustion of paid sick leave if:

  • The employee has a serious health condition
  • The employee needs to care for his or her spouse, child, parent or person regularly residing in the employee’s immediate household who has a serious health condition

Additional information

  • Medical leave is subject to approval by the Leave and Accommodation Management Office.
  • Medical leave is authorized for childbirth or adoption absences.
  • You must provide documentation confirming the medical necessity of your absence from work.
  • Use of medical leave may also be designated as family and medical leave (FMLA) if the reason for your absence from work is due to a qualifying FMLA situation.
  • Medical leave runs concurrent with other types of leave including, but not limited to, family and medical leave (FMLA), and Minnesota Parental Leave Act.

Medical leave without pay is governed by Hennepin County Human Resources Rule 12.13.

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How to request medical leave

Step one

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

Step two

For sheriff and library employees

For all other county employees

Complete the leave of absence request form (PDF) for any of the following circumstances:

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

Step three

Your supervisor will provide the necessary certification form. Have your physician complete the form and return it to the Leave and Accommodation Management (LAM) Office within 15 days.

Return the form by:

  • Fax: 612-348-9638 or
  • Mail:
    Leave and Accommodation Management Office
    300 S 6th St.
    A-400 Government Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55487-0040

A LAM 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, email HR.LAM.Office@hennepin.us a request to the LAM Office.

Step five

If Family and medical leave has been approved, FMLA 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 LAM 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 LAM Office.

Return the form by:

  • Fax: 612-348-9638 or
  • Mail:
    Leave and Accommodation Management Office
    300 S 6th St.
    A-400 Government Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55487-0040

Impact on health insurance

Your coverage as an active employee will end on the last day of the month in which you are placed on medical leave. You may continue your health insurance coverage. The county contributes toward your health coverage as though you are actively working. You are responsible for payment of your portion of the health insurance premium.

Advantage plan costs for 2014

Coverage tiers County cost Employee cost
 Single  $587.88/month  $41.86/month
 Single + spouse  $1,166.02/month  $313.82/month
 Single + child/ren  $893.16/month  $240.34/month
 Family (employee, spouse, children)  $1,386.40/month  $345.34/month 

Standard plan costs for 2014

Coverage tiers County cost Employee cost
 Single
 $587.88/month  $75.00/month
 Single + spouse
 $1,166.02/month  $391.70/month
 Single + child/ren
 $893.16/month  $300.00/month
 Family (employee, spouse, children)
 $1,386.40/month  $436.48/month 


If you elect to continue coverage, it begins on the first day of the month following your medical leave start date. You will have no lapse in coverage if you elect to continue coverage and pay the required premiums. Payments are collected and processed by Eide Bailly Employee Benefits.

You may choose to cancel dependent coverage and retain single coverage effective at the beginning of any month. If dependent coverage is cancelled, it may be reactivated subject to specific enrollment requirements.

When you return from medical leave, the coverage you continued while on leave will reactivate the first of the month following your return date. APEX staff will automatically reactivate the benefits you continued through Eide Bailly Employee Benefits.

If you fail to pay your premiums while on medical leave, when you return, your coverage effective date will be delayed. The effective date will be the first of the month following one full calendar month from your return from leave date.

Impact on dental insurance

Your coverage as an active employee will end on the last day of the month in which you are placed on medical leave. You may continue this coverage at your own expense.

Your cost for 2014

  • Employee-only: $33.07/month
  • Family: $80.66/month

If you elect to continue coverage, your continuation coverage begins on the first day of the month following your medical leave start date. You will have no lapse in coverage if you elect to continue coverage and pay the required premiums. Payments are collected and processed by Eide Bailly Employee Benefits.

You may choose to cancel dependent coverage and retain single coverage effective at the beginning of any month. If dependent coverage is cancelled, it may be reactivated subject to specific enrollment requirements.

If you fail to pay your premiums while on medical leave, when you return from leave, your coverage effective date will be delayed. The effective date will be the first of the month following one full calendar month from your return date.

The coverage you continued while on medical leave will reactivate the first of the month following your return from medical leave date. APEX staff will automatically reactivate the benefits you continued through Eide Bailly Employee Benefits.

Union-sponsored dental plan

Contact your plan directly. 

  • AFSCME: 651-450-4990
  • Teamsters: 612-378-8700

Impact on disability insurance

Short term disability insurance

Your coverage as an active employee will end on the last day of the pay period in which you are placed on medical leave. You may continue your coverage at your own expense if the medical leave is for your medical condition.

Your continuation coverage will begin on the first day of the month following your medical leave start date. You will have no lapse in coverage if you elect to continue coverage and pay the required premiums. Payments are collected and processed by Eide Bailly Employee Benefits. 

If short term disability is cancelled during medical leave, it may only be reactivated by submitting satisfactory evidence of insurability.

The coverage you continued while on medical leave will reactivate the first of the month following your return date. APEX staff will automatically reactivate the benefits you continued through Eide Bailly Employee Benefits.

Long term disability insurance

Your coverage as an active employee will end on the last day of the pay period in which you are placed on medical leave. You may continue your coverage at your own expense if the medical leave is for your medical condition.

If you elect to continue coverage,your continuation coverage will begin on the first day of the month following your medical leave start date. You will have no lapse in coverage if you elect to continue coverage and pay the required premiums. Payments are collected and processed by Eide Bailly Employee Benefits. 

If long term disability is cancelled during medical leave, it may only be reactivated by submitting satisfactory evidence of insurability.

The coverage you continued while on medical leave will reactivate the first of the month following your return date. APEX staff will automatically reactivate the benefits you continued through Eide Bailly Employee Benefits.

Impact on life insurance

Basic life insurance

The county contributes toward your $25,000 basic life insurance as though you are actively working.

Additional and dependent life insurance

Your coverage as an active employee will end on the last day of the month in which you are placed on medical leave. You can continue your coverage at your own expense by paying the applicable premium. Your premium is equal to your normal monthly cost. Your continuation coverage will begin on the first day of the month following your medical leave start date. You will have no lapse in coverage if you elect to continue coverage and pay the required premiums. Payments are collected and processed by Eide Bailly Employee Benefits.

If additional / dependent life is cancelled during medical leave, it may only be reactivated by submitting satisfactory evidence of insurability.

The coverage you continued while on medical leave will reactivate the first of the month following your return date. APEX staff will automatically reactivate the benefits you continued through Eide Bailly Employee Benefits.

Impact on other benefits

1% supplemental retirement plan

Applies only to employees hired / re-hired prior to April 14, 1982, who qualified and elected participation in the plan. If you are actively participating in this plan through payroll deduction, participation is suspended during medical leave because paychecks are not issued. Upon your return to work, contributions will automatically reactivate. A redemption from your account may be possible in the event of an unforeseen financial emergency or upon termination of employment.

Deferred compensation plans

If you are actively participating in any of these plans through payroll deduction, contributions cease during medical leave because paychecks are not issued. Upon your return to work, your pre-leave contribution will automatically reactivate. Contribution amounts may be changed at any time in the year subject to plan provisions.

Flexible spending accounts

If you are actively participating in the health care expense account (HCEA) expense reimbursement option, dependent care assistance program (DCAP), and/or the adoption assistance program (AAP), these payroll deductions cease during medical leave because paychecks are not issued.

You may continue to submit requests for reimbursement for expenses incurred during the time you were receiving a paycheck and contributing to a flexible spending account. Upon your return to work, your payroll deduction is automatically recalculated based on your annual election and the number of remaining pay periods.

Deduction amounts may only be changed if due to and consistent with an eligible family status change. If you return from medical leave in the following payroll year, you will be given the right to enroll in the program within 30 days of the date of return by completing the flexible spending account mid-year change form (DOC).

Paid leave

Once placed on medical leave, you do not accrue paid leave (sick leave and vacation or PTO).

PERA

You are eligible for PERA service credit for up to one year provided you pay both your contributions and the employer contributions. You are given up to one year following your return to work or within 20 days after termination of employment to submit these contributions. Contributions are based on your salary in the six months prior to the medical leave plus interest. To arrange payment, contact PERA at 651-296-7460.

PERA disability benefits (regardless of medical leave date)

If your medical condition is expected to continue for at least one year, you may be eligible for a monthly disability benefit. For more information, contact PERA directly at 651-296-7460.

Severance pay

You may, if receiving a monthly long-term disability benefit and upon request to the Human Resources director, request payment of severance pay for which you are eligible.

Stability pay

If eligible for stability pay, you will receive a pro-rated stability payment at the same time actively-working employees receive their payments (in December each year).

This is a general summary and is not intended to supersede terms and conditions set forth in the Human Resources Rules, Minnesota law, and/or applicable labor agreements.

Medical layoff

You are placed on medical layoff following exhaustion of medical leave. You may also be placed on medical layoff immediately depending on your medical circumstances, individual preference, and / or departmental action.

Duration of medical layoff

In general, layoff provisions allow for layoff duration to be an employee’s length of employment up to a maximum of one to three years. Duration is determined by Human Resources Rule 12.13.a. for non-organized employees or the labor agreement for employees covered under such an agreement.

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