With the presidential and general election rapidly approaching, Minnesota – and all – employers need to be mindful of employees’ rights to reasonable voting leave under state laws. Election season, particularly polarizing presidential campaigns and elections, can also present some headaches for well-intended employers.
Minnesota employees have a right to paid time off to vote. State law gives employees 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.” Generally, an employer may not dock pay, personal leave, or vacation for voting leave. Indeed, if an employer “refuses, abridges, or interferes” with an employee’s right to voting leave, the employer is guilty of a misdemeanor. Minnesota’s law generally applies to all regularly scheduled elections, including a presidential nomination primary election (new for 2020).