Election day is one of the most important days of the year (or the next four years). And no matter whether you are Republican or Democrat, voting is a responsibility that we all bare. With a close election at hand and what are sure to be long lines at the polls, a lot of people will all need time to exercise their right to vote, which may cause employees to miss time away from work in order to cast their ballots.
Most states have some sort of provision or rule that employers must adhere to when allowing employees time off to vote. In the state of California, for instance, “state law requires employers to post a notice to employees advising them of provisions for taking paid leave for the purpose of voting in statewide elections”. The notice must be posted at least 10 days before the election. Employees are also “eligible for paid time off for the purpose of voting only if they do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote”.
Employers cannot prohibit employees from voting during daytime working hours, due to the fact that polling times are traditionally open during these times, and may be hard for employees to vote before or after work.
In my state of Missouri, an employer must give an employee up to three (3) hours paid leave to vote, without penalty or discipline (with prior notice to the employer). Any employe that fails to do so is breaking the state law and could be charged with interference, which is a class four offense.
For a full complete list of states and their “Time Off to Vote” laws, click HERE. (Please note- the site given is a site that gives legal advice, and I do not warranty the information listed)
You can also check your Secretary of State website, or local Election Board for more information on your state’s Time off to Vote policies and laws.
Your HR Department or manager/supervisor should also be well-versed in your company’s policies and procedures in terms of voting, so speak with them directly if you have any questions or concerns.
Will you be taking time off from work to vote this year?