Thursday, December 25, 2014

Research Q of the Week: Don't Quit Your Day Job (12/25)

Question: I'm starting my first term in office soon, and I'm starting to worry about taking time off to attend all these meetings. Is there any information out there that will help me sort this out with my supervisor?

Answer: Hello to all of you elected officials out there in the blogosphere. Thank you for the valuable work you do for your communities. Did you know that because the work you do is so important, the Minnesota Legislature adopted a law (Minn. Stat. § 211B.10) that requires your boss to give you time off from work to attend public meetings? Here’s the scoop about the key requirements of the law:
  • A person elected to public office must be given time off from work to attend meetings required by their public office.
  • The time off may be without pay, with pay, or made up with other hours, as agreed to between the employee and employer.
  • When an employee takes time off without pay, the employer must make an effort to allow the employee to make up the time with other hours when the employee is available.
  • No retaliatory action may be taken by the employer if the employee takes time off from work to attend public meetings.
For more information about elected officials and their role see chapter 6 of the Handbook for Minnesota Cities, freshly updated with 2014 law revisions and info.

Written by Susan Naughton, research attorney with the League of Minnesota Cities. Contact: snaughto@lmc.org or (651) 281-1232.

This blog post conveys general information. It’s not legal advice. Please check with your city attorney before acting on this information. 

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