So Vote Already! Employer Requirements for Voting Leave

October 31, 2019 |

Election day is November 5th and only 27% of voters will participate. Elections that are off cycle with presidential ones have turnout that low.  Why that occurs is subject to debate but employment laws  favor voting.

As our clients know, disciplining or firing an employee solely for taking time off work to vote is not a good practice. Some state laws require employers to give their employees a specific amount of time off to cast their ballots. In some states, this time off must be paid; in others, it may be unpaid. There are various restrictions, such as if the polls are only open during a shift, proof that the employee voted or notice required for the time off. New York just amended their law to allow 3 hours paid time at the beginning or the end of the work day for time off to vote with at least 2 days notice.  So much for a New York minute when it comes to casting your ballot there.

In addition to these state law protections, oftentimes the employee handbook, personnel policies or a collective bargaining agreement addresses your workplace procedure for voting time off.

This map shows where your state falls in the spectrum of voting leave. Please be aware the map is not updated to include the NY law mentioned above.

Questions? We can help.

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