TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - If you are planning to head to the polls on Election Day, but are having a hard time with your normal work schedule, a state law may help.
Under Arizona Revised Statute 16-402, companies must give employees paid time off work to vote if their work schedules would otherwise prevent them from voting.
Employers must grant paid leave for voting if there are less than three hours between the time that polls open or close, and the time an employee starts or ends his or her shift.
John Balitis, a Phoenix attorney who specializes in employment and labor issues, told our CBS-affiliate it is important for employers to be aware of the law.
“The interesting thing about our law is that it doesn’t have any notification requirements or posting requirements, and it comes up so infrequently that many people just don’t know about it,” Balitis said.
The law typically protects employees who must start work before 9:00 a.m. and do not get off of work until after 4:00 p.m.
If your regular schedule grants you a three-hour window to vote, you are not eligible for protection under A.R.S. 16-402.
You have to let your employer know the day before the election if you are planning to take time off work. He or she can also dictate the specific time you can take to go to the polls. Your employer does not have to pay for more than three hours of leave, or allow you to take more than three hours to vote.
Preventing employees from exercising their right to vote is a Class 2 misdemeanor in Arizona.