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vintner
11-04-2008, 09:40 AM
In Minnesota, we are allowed to take time off work from to vote, it is a law. That is why I was so surprised when the I got the following email from our HR person at work. Names have been blocked.


DATE: November 3, 2008

TO: PXXXXn Employees

FROM: DXXX CXXXX
Human Resources

RE: Time off for Voting


Pxxxxn believes that it is the responsibility and duty of employees to exercise the privilege of voting in elections. Voting hours established at polling places are adequate for most individuals to vote on their own time. Pxxxxxns work hours are such that employees should be able to vote either before or after regularly assigned work hours. If a unique business circumstance makes voting before or after work impossible or very difficult, Pxxxxxn may accommodate the need for time off. Otherwise, time off for voting will not be granted.

If you have questions, please see Human Resources.
*****************************

I was surprised to get this as the employees in the office that received this email are not a large group. We have not had a problem of people just leaving to vote in the past.

Our right to vote is more restricted than I would like, at least here at Pxxxxxn.

dougp26364
11-04-2008, 10:15 AM
I guess it would depend on the exact wording of the law. Many laws seem to not be absolute. I would suspect that, if an employeers business hours allowed for ample time to vote before or after work, then it would not be a requirement or necessity to allow employee's time off work to vote.

If that's the case then the law is perhaps a waste of time. I know of very few employers who require their employee's work shift extend the entire length of the time that polls are open.

vintner
11-04-2008, 10:40 AM
I forwarded the email on to the Sec. of State and I got a call back. The company is in violation of the law and they have been notified of that fact. The law requires the company to allow the employee to go out and vote. The company can not send out notices saying otherwise.

Now...if they don't back track the email to me, I will keep my job. If they do...guess it will be early retirement for me.

BoardGirl
11-04-2008, 10:47 AM
Do there happen to be any whistleblower laws there to protect you?

They were in violation. They got caught. Taking punitive action against an employee seems like it would also be unlawful.

Not sure what you do or how the job market is where you are, but getting ejected from a place where HR is corrupt doesn't sound like the worst outcome. (my motto is: "losing this job is not the worst thing that could happen to me" [gets me thru the hardest days], but, even in this market, I know I can be employed in my industry very quickly. ymmv).

Of course, I hope you keep your job and that the company straightens up.

vintner
11-04-2008, 11:01 AM
Updated email from HR:

I would like to clarify the memo regarding voting, dated 11/3/08, regarding time off for voting. Pxxxxn understands that under MN law, employees have the right to vote during their assigned shift in the morning of Election Day without loss of pay or having to make up hours. Employees are entitled only to the time necessary to vote, not the entire morning.

If you have questions, please see Human Resources or your Supervisor.

jlwquilter
11-04-2008, 11:11 AM
It's kinda funny. The HR dept. is digging themselve another hole. Now they say you have to vote in the morning if you want paid time off to do so.

vintner
11-04-2008, 11:27 AM
It's kinda funny. The HR dept. is digging themselve another hole. Now they say you have to vote in the morning if you want paid time off to do so.

The guy from the Sec. of State called me back to verify that HR actually sent out the update voting notice. I read him the info and he was fine with it. That is how the law reads for MN. You are allowed time off in the morning for voting.

philsfan
11-04-2008, 03:33 PM
The guy from the Sec. of State called me back to verify that HR actually sent out the update voting notice. I read him the info and he was fine with it. That is how the law reads for MN. You are allowed time off in the morning for voting.

I think it's very cool that you did that and that it was followed up on so quickly by your state government folks. Now, if you can get rid of the snow, I will move to MN tomorrow....

wackymother
11-04-2008, 11:34 PM
Boy, it's still a pretty cranky e-mail from HR...especially considering you don't have people who take advantage. The company "understands" MN law?

dougp26364
11-05-2008, 06:21 AM
Nice job shooting off that letter to the right department. I've had many battle's with my HR including getting a second opinion for my wife when she fell and hurt her back at work. I enjoy it when an HR tries to throw it's weight around and it gets thrown back in their face.

joycapecod
11-05-2008, 07:57 AM
Election Day for the company my DH works for is a corporate holiday. I think it is the only corporation I know of that has the entire day off with pay.

Joy

CarolF
11-05-2008, 09:55 PM
Election Day for the company my DH works for is a corporate holiday.

Joy

I saw the queues of people waiting to vote (on TV) and it seems like some would need the entire day to be able to vote :shock:.