Minnesotans – along with the nation – were shocked to learn yesterday that Prince passed away at his home, Paisley Park Studios, in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Naturally, when I heard of all of the memorials and fans headed to Paisley Park to pay their respects (after the rain, nonetheless leaving a beautiful rainbow over the property), the first thing I thought about is employees calling in “sick” in the next few days and wanting to take time off for bereavement.
So, what are an employer’s obligations with respect to bereavement leave in Minnesota? Surprising to some, none whatsoever (this is my fun fact – certainly not the fact that a legend has passed – indeed, I am wearing my purple for Prince today!).
There is no Minnesota state law or rule that requires bereavement leave, whether paid or unpaid, yet almost every employer acknowledges the need for this benefit. Most employers do have some sort of bereavement leave policy for immediate family members, whether 1 day unpaid or 3 days paid. Thus, although many claim Prince as part of our larger Minneapolis family, employees desiring to take time off to pay their respects to Prince will likely have to dip into vacation or paid time off. #RIPPrince