When navigating the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), Minnesota employers should not forget about Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-02. This order states that district schools must provide care to, at a minimum, district-enrolled students 12 and younger of emergency workers. The state has classified (so far) workers into “Tier 1” and “Tier 2” in this guidance.

What does this mean? Tier I workers will not need the 12 weeks of EFMLA (I hesitate to say exempt), as they do not need leave to care for a minor child (unless the child is 13-17 and their parent is unwilling to leave their child alone). Similarly, Tier I workers would not need emergency paid sick leave (see my other blog) for reason #5 (to care for child whose school closed).


  • Healthcare personnel (PCAs, pharmacy, mental health)
  • Emergency medical services personnel (full-time)
  • Law enforcement / firefighter personnel
  • Correctional services
  • Courts (full-time employees)
  • Public Health


Minnesota has further clarified (though not an order from the Governor) that schools “should make every effort” to provide care to “school-aged children” of Tier 2 workers (not the actual guidance expands upon each of the below which I’m not going to specifically post). Thus, if an employee has a school district that is willing/able to provide care for Tier 2 workers they also should not need EFMLA:

  • Educators, child care workers
  • State and local essential IT personnel
  • State workers essential for continuance of unemployment insurance
  • Substance disorder treatment workers
  • Medical examiners
  • National Guard (if activated)
  • MNDoT employees
  • Public works
  • Water treatment, wastewater
  • Solid waste and infectious and hazardous waste management
  • Day-to-day operations/emergency response for gas and electric utilities
  • Food distributions workers
  • Other shelter staff and outreach workers
  • Telecommunication network operations

In short, if you are a Tier I business, it is unlikely that your employee should need EFMLA. If you are a Tier I business, it would depend on whether your employee(s) can get school coverage at their district for their child(ren).