Tag Archives: employment attorney

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Paid time off to vote? Yes, in Arizona!

As the November election approaches, Americans gear up to exercise their greatest civic duty — voting. But finding the time to vote is a luxury many working voters struggle with. However, Arizona law simplifies this process by dictating that employers must give eligible voters up to three hours of paid leave in order to vote on Nov. 6.

According to Arizona Revised Statute 16-402, Arizona public and private employers must give their employees paid time off to vote if the following three conditions are met:

  • The employee must be eligible to vote in the election.
  • The employee requests voting leave one day prior to the election.
  • Less than three consecutive hours exist between either: Opening of the polls and the beginning of the employee’s regular work shift, or the end of the employee’s regular work shift and closing of the polls.

Employees are not liable for any penalty or wage deduction for the mandatory time off, the law states.

“Whether it’s a presidential election year or not, this statute always applies in relation to voting in Arizona,” says John Balitis, an employment attorney with Fennemore Craig.

The statute is important for employers and employees to know because it gives employees beneficial rights in connection to voting, and it also informs employers about their obligations, Balitis says.

However, although the Arizona statute doesn’t require proof of voting, Balitis says they may ask for it.

“If an employer has reason to doubt that the employee actually took the paid time to vote, it would be reasonable for the employer to require the employee provide proof that they actually did vote,” Balitis says.

Employers who violate AZRS: 16-402 are subject to a class two misdemeanor, which is punishable by fines and possible imprisonment.

There are no cases on record of Arizona employers violating AZRS: 16-402, Balitis says.

The following states have a law similar to Arizona’s requirement for voting time off, although not all require employers to pay employees: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The following states do not have any statute regarding employers giving employees time to vote: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rohde Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin,

For more information regarding Arizona Revised Statutes: 16-402, visit azleg.state.az.us.

Chris Mason, Polsinelli Shughart

Polsinelli Shughart Welcomes New Shareholder, Adds Labor And Employment Focus

Polsinelli Shughart

Polsinelli Shughart has added a labor and employment focus to the firm’s Trial department with the addition of Christopher Mason, a labor and employment attorney.

Now a shareholder to the department, Mason will assist Polsinelli’s clients with a range of typical labor matters. His contribution serves as part of the ongoing strategy to expand the Polsinelli Shughart office in Phoenix.

Mason’s education reflects his new position with the firm. He obtained his law degree from the University of California’s Los Angeles School of Law in 1999. He also earned his B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of California-Davis in 1996.

During his time in law school, he served as both managing and staff editor for the ULCA Law Review. Mason has experience representing clients before trial and appellate courts.

“We listen to our clients and strive to meet their growing needs,” says Ed Novak, Phoenix office managing partner. “Labor and employment matters are at the forefront of challenges for businesses and Christopher’s extensive labor and employment experience provides a valuable resource for our clients.”

Some prominent topics of Mason’s focus are aspects of labor and employment law including restrictive covenants, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and other points of debate.

“There is a great entrepreneurial spirit at Polsinelli Shughart, as well as a commitment to excellence and value,” Mason says. “The attorneys strive to provide outstanding and creative solutions and real value to clients in the most efficient way possible.”

Mason welcomes the expanded resources of a national firm, and is excited to join one of the fastest growing firms in the country.

Polsinelli Shughart is a national law firm and recognized leader in the areas of business law, financial services, real estate and business litigation. With more than 540 attorneys, Polsinelli redefines the business of law by sharing goals, ideas and outcomes with clients. The law firm serves a variety of clients, including corporate, individual and institutional. By creating value through their legal services, Polsinelli builds enduring relationships.

For more information about Polsinelli Shughart, visit www.polsinelli.com.