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Minnesota Enacts Paid Family Medical Leave

En español | We’re thrilled that all working Minnesotans will soon be able to take paid time off to care for a loved one, thanks to legislation signed recently by Gov. Tim Walz.

Minnesota is the 15th state, along with the District of Columbia, to enact some form of paid family medical leave, although some programs are still being implemented. AARP Minnesota spent nearly a decade lobbying for the legislation, part of our push to support family caregivers.

Starting in January 2026, workers in Minnesota can take up to 12 weeks a year to bond with a newborn or adopted child or to care for a sick family member, and up to 12 weeks for their own serious medical condition, with a cap of 20 weeks a year. 

Once the program is implemented, employees and their employers would each pay a .35 percent payroll tax to fund it. Participation is required, but the law includes premium support and grants for smaller businesses, and employers that offer a private plan with equal or better benefits may opt out. 

We fought hard to eliminate a provision that would have limited leave to only one family member. And we’re pleased that the approved version of the bill allows workers to use the leave to care for someone not related by blood or marriage, such as a significant other, neighbor or friend.

AARP has long advocated for a national policy on paid family medical leave and has helped push bills over the finish line in several states, including Maryland and Delaware last year. 

Keep up with our advocacy work in Minnesota, and learn more about how we’re fighting for family caregivers.

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