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Extra leave under MPLA subject to employer approval

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in FMLA Guidelines

Although they’re welcome to be more generous, employers are only obligated to provide six weeks of leave under the Minnesota Parental Leave Act (MPLA).

Recent case: Angela Gangnon, a part-timer at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, had a poor attendance record. She frequently was warned she faced possible termination. Then she became pregnant and asked for FMLA leave.

The hospital said she wasn’t eligible because she hadn’t worked 1,250 hours in the prior 12 months. Instead, she got six weeks of MPLA leave. That leave expired and Gangnon didn’t return, so the hospital fired her. She sued, alleging her doctor had certified she should have two more weeks.

The court said the certification didn’t matter. What did matter was whether the hospital had approved extra leave. Because it hadn’t, Gangnon’s case was dismissed. (Gangnon v. Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, No. 09-2582, DC MN, 2011)

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