As Election Day quickly approaches in the highly anticipated presidential and congressional elections, employers are faced with a slew of questions about their employees’ rights on November 3 and beyond.
Election Day is not a national holiday; therefore, federal law does not mandate employers provide employees with time off to vote. Employers must assess their obligations under state law as to whether their employees can leave work to vote and, if so, whether they must pay employees for time spent at the polls. More than half of states require employers to provide employees time off from work to vote. Of those states, the law varies as to how much time is allotted and whether that time is paid or unpaid. Some states’ laws are subject to further caveats, for example, proof a ballot was cast. Employers should also ensure their handbook’s time-off provisions are consistent with their state’s voting rights. For example, in Texas, an employee has the right to take paid time off to vote on Election Day. If, however, the employee has at least two consecutive hours off of work while the polls are open, the employer need not allow the employee to leave in the middle of his or her shift.
Continue Reading Election Day Obligations: What Employers Need to Know