On September 9, 2011, the government of the Yukon Territory announced that they will go to the polls on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. Employers have certain obligations to employees under the Yukon Election Act. The legislative session ended and the election writ was issued and signed. The month-long campaign for voters’ hearts and minds is officially underway. The lawn signs will come out and political parties in the Yukon will kick their campaigns into high gear.
Under the Act, an employee who is eligible to vote must be allowed four consecutive hours for the purpose of casting his or her ballot. Employers whose employees have four consecutive hours of their own time available during polling hours need not offer additional time for voting. If, however, an employee does not have this time available, the employer, upon request, must allow the employee enough time off with pay to provide those four consecutive hours to vote.
Employees engaged in operation of public transportation services or engaged in emergency services may vote by proxy.
This year, voting hours on election day will be from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time. Employers have the right to decide when during the day is most convenient for granting any necessary time off. It is also important to note that employers are not required to take into account an employee’s travel time to vote.
Employers may not make deductions from an employee’s pay, require the employee to take a vacation day or sick day, or otherwise impose any penalty for the time taken off work by an employee to vote.
An employer is guilty of an offence who refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence or in another way, interferes with the granting to an elector in his or her employ, of the consecutive hours for voting provided in the Act. General penalty of a fine of not more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than three months, or both.
First Reference Human Resources and Compliance Managing Editor