Paid Time Off for Voting – It’s the Law!

Fennemore Craig Oct. 28, 2014

Voting day, November 4, could mean up to three hours of paid time off for employees around the state of Arizona.

This is thanks to a little-known statute that requires public and private employers in Arizona to give eligible voters paid time off on voting day. The only requirement is that there are fewer than three consecutive hours between the opening of the polls and the beginning of the employee’s regular work shift, or between the end of the employee’s regular work shift and the closing of the polls.

According to the statute, the employee shall not, because of such absence, be liable for any penalty, nor shall any deduction be made therefore from his or her usual salary or wages. Application shall be made for such absence prior to the day of election, and the employer may specify the hours during which the employee may absent himself or herself. (ARS 16-402). Employers found to have violated the statute can face a misdemeanor charge.

The statute clearly states the legislature’s belief that voting is a vital function in a society where workdays could otherwise threaten voting abilities. —John Balitis, an attorney with Fennemore Craig, co-chairs the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group.

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