Voting Leave Under Minnesota Law

Under Minnesota law, “every employee who is eligible to vote in an election has the right to be absent from work for the time necessary to appear at the employee’s polling place, cast a ballot, and return to work on the day of that election…”  See Minn. Stat. § 204C.04.  The statute provides that an employer may not impose a “penalty or deduction from salary or wages because of the absence.”  An employer or other person “may not directly or indirectly refuse, abridge, or interfere with this right or any other election right of an employee.”

Elections covered by Minnesota’s voting leave law include any “regularly scheduled state primary or general election, an election to fill a vacancy in the office of United States senator or United States representative, or an election to fill a vacancy in the office of state senator or state representative.”

Takeaway:  Because employees are entitled to voting leave in Minnesota, employers should plan ahead for elections, to the extent possible, to minimize the impact of potential business or productivity disruptions.

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on October 8, 2012, in Leaves of Absence and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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