Posted by Tamara
Most of the states in this country, including Illinois, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kentucky and Kansas, have enacted voting leave laws. These laws vary, however, in how much time off and whether that time is paid. For example, in many cases, the laws require only that the employee be scheduled so there is sufficient time to vote during polling places hours.
If the employee must work throughout the polling hours, he or she must be given unpaid time off to vote.
Many states allow employees to leave work to vote under some circumstances. These states include Colorado, Alaska, Tennessee, Texas and 25 others, which include Minnesota.
The Minnesota voter leave law, however, has recently changed. Previously, Minnesota employers were only required to provide its workers time off in the morning. In 2010, however, the Minnesota state legislators amended the voting statute, strengthening what was already one of the strongest voting leave laws in the U.S.
Under the new version of the Minnesota Voter Leave Law, employers are required to provide employees with sufficient time off to vote at any time of the day, including afternoon, evening or night.
This new law also requires employees to be paid to vote. The law mandates that no employee will be penalized or have wages deducted for time off to vote. All employees, hourly, exempt and non-exempt are entitled to payment under this amendment passed by the Minnesota State Legislature.
Even if employees have sufficient time to vote during polling hours outside of work, Minnesota employers must grant them time off to vote. They must grant enough leave to travel time to and from the polls in addition to the actual time it takes to cast a ballot. Minnesota is one of a few states that require workers be paid for time to vote even when the employee could vote outside of work hours.
If an employer directly or indirectly interferes with, refuses or abridges an employee’s right to vote, that employer is guilty of breaking the law.
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