Election Day is next Tuesday, November 6. Do you know what provisions, if any, you must make to accommodate your employees’ rights to vote? Time off for voting is not a federal requirement; however, 30 states have voting leave laws impacting the workplace.
These state laws vary significantly. Not all leave is required to be paid, and the amount of time varies. For some states it’s described as “reasonable time” necessary to vote, and in other states the law specifically states two, three, or even four hours to vote. Furthermore, some states, such as California and New York, require you to post notices of employees’ rights for time off to get to the polls.
Twelve of the 30 states also impose penalties for employers who prohibit employees from voting. For example, Colorado and New York employers could lose their corporate charter and Arizona, Missouri, and Kansas supervisors could face fines up to $2,500. While 20 states and the District of Columbia do not have voting leave laws in place, there are other provisions you should be aware of when it comes to your employees exercising their voting rights.
Even if your state doesn’t have a law in place requiring you to provide voting leave, that does not preclude you from having a company policy in place that provides voting leave. In addition to offering employees time on election day to vote, you could also remind employees about absentee or early voting options in your community.
Be ready for the midterm elections this November by knowing your time off rules and encourage your employees to exercise their civic duty to vote!
ThinkHR customers can download a chart that summarizes voting leave laws (or lack of them) for each state, including the amount of leave, whether it must be paid or unpaid, any posting or advance notice requirements, and any penalties. You can also get comprehensive information on voting leave laws for each state, create or update your employee handbook with voting policies for your states, or contact a Live advisor to discuss special voting time off situations in your workplace.