Minnesota Employers Have Obligation to Grant Employees Time Off with Pay to Vote
October 02, 2008
by Bruce J. Douglas and Chris M. Heffelbower
Election Day falls on Tuesday, November 4th this year. Minnesota employers have specific obligations under Minnesota law on Election Day to provide employees time off with pay to vote during the morning of Election Day.
An employer cannot penalize or discipline an employee, or reduce an employee’s salary or wages if an employee chooses to exercise his or her right to vote during the morning of Election Day. A violation of the law may be punishable as a misdemeanor (maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail).
Although Minnesota law does not require an employer specifically to inform its employees of their right to time off to vote, many employees are familiar with the law from past elections. The law also does not specifically require employees to make a prior request, verbally or in writing, for time off to vote. However, employers may find it beneficial to inform employees of their right to time off in the morning to vote. Employers may request that employees notify their supervisors in advance and remind them that most polls open at 7:00 a.m.