Minnesota companies are giving employees time-off to vote

“Our offices are closed until noon”... “We’re giving people that time to go out and vote."

Edgar Linares
November 05, 2018 - 8:21 pm
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Entercom

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Did you know you have a right to take time off work to go vote, without losing pay, personal leave or vacation time? Some Minneapolis employers are taking that right to another level.

“Our offices are closed until noon,” said Marcus Fischer, CEO, of Carmichael Lynch. “We’re giving people that time to go out and vote. The big reason is all the research you look at shows that the number one reason people don’t vote is lack of time.

Carmichael Lynch has more than 300 employees in their Minneapolis office. Fischer says many who work there are “civic minded”. Therefore, closing the office and shutting down their website until noon will help their employees exercise their civic duty.

Nancy Lyons, CEO of Clockwork a Minneapolis based software company, is giving her 55 employees the entire day off. Lyons said if she could make Election Day a national holiday she would.

“I think we have lots of holidays that we are not engaged with and not very familiar with the history of, and this is a really important day,” said Lyons.

Lyons said her employees were thrilled and proud that their company. At Carmichael Lynch, some employees told CEO Marcus Fischer they broke into tears. Some Clockwork employees have volunteered their time to be election judges and others are transporting voters to and from polling places.

“We’ve had people just in the last 24 hours sign up to work for the election protection movement,” said Lyons. “We have people volunteering in a variety of ways.”

Minnesota law says your employer must pay you for the time you need to vote, if it falls within your scheduled work time. The Minnesota Statute says your employer cannot require you to use personal leave or vacation time.

If transportation is a problem, rideshare companies like Minneapolis-based Nice Ride are offering free use of their bikes on Election Day and California-based Lime is giving free access to scooters for voters.