Senate Study Bill 1062 - Introduced SENATE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT BILL BY CHAIRPERSON DANIELSON) A BILL FOR An Act providing time off from work to attend presidential 1 precinct caucuses and making penalties applicable. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 1493XC (5) 86 je/sc
S.F. _____ Section 1. Section 39A.5, subsection 1, paragraph b, Code 1 2015, is amended by adding the following new subparagraph: 2 NEW SUBPARAGRAPH . (3) As an employer, denying an employee 3 the privilege conferred by section 43.4A to attend a precinct 4 caucus, or subjecting an employee to a penalty because of the 5 exercise of that privilege. 6 Sec. 2. NEW SECTION . 43.91A Employees entitled to time to 7 participate in presidential precinct caucuses. 8 1. Any person entitled to participate in a precinct caucus 9 held as part of the presidential nominating process in this 10 state who is required to be present at work for an employer 11 during the four-hour period starting one hour prior to the 12 time the precinct caucus starts is entitled to take unpaid 13 leave for as much of that four-hour period as is necessary to 14 participate in the precinct caucus except as provided by this 15 section. Application by any employee for such absence shall be 16 made to the employee’s employer individually and in writing at 17 least seventy-two hours prior to the time the precinct caucus 18 is scheduled to start. The employee shall not be liable for 19 any loss of wages or salary or any other penalty except for the 20 loss of wages or salary for the hours of unpaid leave actually 21 used. 22 2. a. An application by an employee for an absence may be 23 denied by an employer if all the following circumstances exist: 24 (1) The person is employed in an emergency services position 25 which shall include peace officer, fire fighter, emergency 26 medical personnel, and any other position that affects the 27 protection of public health or safety, or is employed by an 28 entity that would experience severe economic or operational 29 disruption due to the person’s absence. 30 (2) The employer filed a written notice with the 31 commissioner at least seven days prior to the date of the 32 precinct caucus specifying exigent circumstances justifying the 33 denial of such leave for personnel described in subparagraph 34 (1) and declaring the minimum number of such personnel, 35 -1- LSB 1493XC (5) 86 je/sc 1/ 3
S.F. _____ by position, needed to protect public health and safety or 1 maintain minimum operational capacity, as applicable. A copy 2 of this written notice shall be provided to employees of the 3 employer. 4 (3) The number of persons employed in a position that did 5 not apply for an absence is less than the minimum number of 6 persons in that position needed by the employer to protect 7 public health and safety or maintain minimum operational 8 capacity, as applicable. 9 b. If the circumstances in paragraph “a” exist as to a 10 particular position of the employer, then the employer may deny 11 the minimum number of employees in that position applying for 12 an absence that is needed to yield the minimum staffing level 13 for that position as specified in the written notice to the 14 commissioner. The selection of which employees applying for 15 an absence shall be denied an absence shall be made without 16 regard to political party affiliation, political belief, or 17 affiliation with or support for any candidate, or for any of 18 the grounds for which employment discrimination is prohibited 19 in this state. 20 3. This section shall not be construed to prohibit an 21 employer from doing any of the following: 22 a. Authorizing paid leave to all affected employees. 23 b. Allowing all affected employees the option to work 24 additional compensatory hours, at a time designated by the 25 employer not in conflict with the time needed for caucus 26 participation, equal in number to the number of hours taken to 27 participate in the presidential precinct caucus as provided in 28 subsection 1. The option of working compensatory hours may be 29 exercised individually by each employee. Work performed during 30 the compensatory hours shall be compensated in the same manner 31 as work performed during regular hours. 32 EXPLANATION 33 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 34 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 35 -2- LSB 1493XC (5) 86 je/sc 2/ 3
S.F. _____ This bill provides that a person shall be entitled to unpaid 1 time off from work to attend a presidential precinct caucus for 2 up to four hours beginning one hour prior to the start of the 3 precinct caucus. The bill provides that the employee shall 4 make a written application with their employer for such absence 5 and the employee is not liable for any penalty nor shall any 6 deduction be made from the person’s regular salary or wages 7 except for the period of time of the absence. 8 The bill provides that the requirement to allow time off 9 does not apply if the person is employed in a position that 10 affects the protection of public health or safety or by an 11 entity that would experience severe economic disruption due 12 to the person’s absence. Such employer must file a written 13 notice with the county commissioner of elections specifying the 14 exigent circumstances justifying the denial of such leave and 15 the minimum number of persons needed, by position, to protect 16 public health and safety or maintain minimum operational 17 capacity, and that the number of persons not applying for leave 18 is less than the minimum number specified by the employer. 19 The denial of leave for those number of persons needed to 20 reach the minimum staffing number specified must be done in a 21 nondiscriminatory manner. 22 The bill also permits an employer, in lieu of providing 23 unpaid leave, to provide paid leave for the absence or to allow 24 affected employees the option to work the hours of the absence 25 at such other time so long as either option is made available 26 to all affected employees. 27 The bill provides that an employer who denies an employee 28 the privilege conferred by this bill to attend a presidential 29 precinct caucus commits election misconduct in the fourth 30 degree, a simple misdemeanor. A simple misdemeanor is 31 punishable by confinement for no more than 30 days or a fine of 32 at least $65 but not more than $625 or by both. 33 -3- LSB 1493XC (5) 86 je/sc 3/ 3