To qualify for a leave of absence for your own illness
- Have been employed by the county at least 12 months
- Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months before your leave
- Have family and medical leave hours available in the current payroll year
- Need three or more days away from work, intermittent time away for medical reasons, or had an overnight stay in the hospital
Learn more about your rights and responsibilities under the Family and Medical Leave Act (PDF)
To request a leave of absence
Contact Kathleen Smith at email@example.com.
All other employees
- Complete the leave of absence request form (use Internet Explorer). This will alert your supervisor of your leave request.
- You must be on the county network. If you can’t access the network, contact your supervisor to complete the request for you.
Confidentiality and job protection
- Your supervisor doesn’t need to know any of your medical facts
- You can receive confidential help throughout the process from the HR leave and accommodation management office
- You cannot be penalized for requesting or receiving a medical leave of absence
How far in advance to request a leave of absence
- Request a leave of absence as soon as you know you need time away from work or, if possible, at least 30 days beforehand
- Requesting a leave of absence does not guarantee it will be approved
After you submit your request
- Your supervisor will get a notification and next steps. Your supervisor will send you a medical certification form. If your supervisor is unavailable to complete their portion of the medical certification form, email HR.LAM.Office@hennepin.us or call 612-348-4082.
- Have your health care provider complete the medical certification form within 15 days. Then have them return the form to the HR leave and accommodation management office per the instructions on the form.
- Once the HR leave and accommodation management office receives the completed form, you’ll get an email within five business days. The email will tell you whether your leave of absence request is approved, denied or additional information is needed.
If your leave of absence is approved
Taking a leave of absence as needed
Review the comments on your notice received by the leave and accommodation management office and follow your department’s call-in procedure.
Taking a leave of absence in a block of time
- Meet with your supervisor to discuss how you’ll prepare for your leave, when it will start, how you’d like your timesheet coded, and your plan to return to work.
- If you need to make changes to your leave of absence request after it’s been approved, for example to change the dates, notify the HR leave and accommodation management office at HR.LAM.Office@hennepin.us.
- Consider suspending your parking contract or MetroPass.
- If you have short-term disability insurance, make sure you’ve recorded your last day of paid time (sick leave, vacation, PTO, holiday, or comp time) before you file your short-term disability claim.
- If you have long-term disability insurance but not short-term disability, once you’ve been out of work for six weeks, file your long-term disability claim.
- Learn about the employee vacation/PTO donation program.
Optional: To see how your leave and other time off work together (sick, vacation, PTO, etc.), request a personalized scenario (non-parental leave).
Checklist for taking a leave of absence (PDF)
If your leave of absence is denied
You'll get an email with an explanation.
Common reasons a leave is denied
- Your health care provider did not return completed forms to the HR leave and accommodation management office
- Requested clarification on your completed forms was not received
- Your medical condition is not considered a serious health condition
For questions email the HR leave and accommodation office at HR.LAM.Office@hennepin.us or call 612-348-4082.
Continuing your benefits while on leave
Benefit-earning employees can continue their health insurance and other benefits while on leave.
The way you pay for your benefits while on leave depends on whether you receive a paycheck during your leave and how long your leave lasts:
- If you receive a paycheck while on leave, paycheck deductions for your benefits will still be taken out
- If you go one pay period without a paycheck, or your pay doesn't cover the premiums, your deductions will be taken on your next available paycheck
- If you're out for an extended period of unpaid time, you'll receive a letter from the HR leave and accommodation management office with information on continuing your benefits
Returning from a leave of absence
- Check the bottom of the designation notice you received from the HR leave and accommodation management office to see if you must submit a return-to-work statement (fitness for duty certificate) from your health care provider to return to work.
- At least two business days before you return to work, either have your health care provider fax the return-to-work statement to the HR leave and accommodation management office at 612-466-9391 or you can email it directly to HR.LAM.Office@hennepin.us. If you don’t submit your statement at least two days ahead of time, it could delay the date you can return to work.
- If you are required to submit this statement, make sure it includes: your return-to-work date, restrictions if any, and end date for restrictions
- The HR leave and accommodation management office will review the statement and contact you with any questions. We'll then notify your supervisor of your return to work date and any restrictions.
- Your supervisor will contact you regarding your return-to-work date.
Getting personalized help for your return to work
- If you have disability coverage you can get personalized help from a case manager before or after your return to work. This can make your transition to work easier.
- The program is voluntary, confidential and free
- Talk to the HR leave and accommodation management office by emailing HR.LAM.Office@hennepin.us or calling 612-348-4082 for more information
Short-term impact on your paycheck and benefits once you return to work
- You may have missed paying all your premiums while on leave. If so, "catch up" premiums will come out of your next available paycheck.
- You may also have a short-term impact on how your benefits start up again
- For questions email the HR leave and accommodation management office at HR.LAM.Office@hennepin.us
Additional help before, during and after your leave
Questions about leave of absence for employee illness
Leave and accommodation management office