With Arizona’s March 22 presidential primaries quickly approaching, employers should remember a few key points regarding employees’ voting rights:
According to Ogletree Deakins Shareholder Tibor Nagy, Arizona law allows employees to be absent from their jobs in order to vote on election day if there are less than three consecutive hours between the opening of the polls and the beginning of their regular shift or the end of their regular shift and the closing of the polls. State law further prohibits Arizona employers from reducing an employee’s wages or otherwise penalizing an employee who is absent for voting purposes, consistent with the hours specified. However, to qualify, an employee must request the time off before the day of the election. Also, the employer gets to decide which hours the employee may take off to vote (for example: either before or after the employee’s shift). An employer who refuses to allow the absence or penalizes an employee for the absence is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and may also be subject to a wrongful termination claim if the employee is fired.
Arizona law prohibits employers from engaging in certain actions intended to influence employees with respect to voting or political opinions.