Under Minnesota law, individuals who serve as election judges are entitled to be absent from work for the purpose of serving as an election judge without penalty. See Minn. Stat. § 204B.195. Here’s what employers need to know about leave for election judges:
How does an employee request election-judge leave? The employee must provide his or her employer with at least 20 days advance written notice of his or her intent to be absent from work while serving as an election judge. The written request must be accompanied by a certification from the appointing authority stating the hourly compensation to be paid to the employee for service as an election judge and the hours during which the employee will serve.
Do employees need to be paid for election-judge leave? Yes, but an employer may reduce the salary or wages of an employee serving as an election judge by the amount paid to the election judge by the appointing authority during the time the employee is absent from the place of employment.
Can an employer limit the number of employees who serve as election judges? Yes. The statute provides that an employer may restrict the number of persons to be absent from work for the purpose of serving as an election judge to no more than 20% of the total work force at any single worksite.
Takeaway: Employers who receive requests from employees for election-judge leave should ensure that employees provide the required notice and certification and that the employees are paid properly during their leave. If necessary, employers should also utilize the 20% limit on election-judge leave to minimize potential business or productivity disruptions.