Excelsior Springs, MO asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Missouri

Q: Would an employer be in violation of MO statute 115.639 for terminating an employee that requires time off to vote?

9am-7pm was My scheduled shift . As I received a reminder the day of the primary election. I requested the last 90 Min of my shift off to vote. My Supervisor replied via IM “Who approved this?” I advised this is a request, then asked are you denying or approving, I didn’t get a response. As the polls were closing soon I followed proceed with the “normal protocol” for time reporting early departure/ late arrival. Two days later I was terminated.

1 Lawyer Answer
Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Below is the statute. Based on your recitation of the facts, I questin whether you complied with the requrement that "that request shall be made for such leave of absence prior to the day of election."

Three hours off work to vote--interference by employer a class four offense.

115.639. 1. Any person entitled to vote at any election held within this state shall, on the day of such election, be entitled to absent himself from any services or employment in which he is then engaged or employed, for a period of three hours between the time of opening and the time of closing the polls for the purpose of voting, and any such absence for such purpose shall not be reason for the discharge of or the threat to discharge any such person from such services or employment; and such employee, if he votes, shall not, because of so absenting himself, be liable to any penalty or discipline, nor shall any deduction be made on account of such absence from his usual salary or wages; provided, however, that request shall be made for such leave of absence prior to the day of election, and provided further, that this section shall not apply to a voter on the day of election if there are three successive hours while the polls are open in which he is not in the service of his employer. The employer may specify any three hours between the time of opening and the time of closing the polls during which such employee may absent himself.

2. Any employer violating this section shall be deemed guilty of a class four election offense.

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