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Must we grant time off so employees can vote?

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. A number of my employees have stated that they will not be able to vote in the upcoming statewide election because their local polling centers are only open during these employees’ work hours. Should I give them some time off during the day to vote?

A. Yes; in fact, you are required to allow employees to take up to two hours of time off without loss of pay to vote if they cannot make sufficient time outside of working hours to do so. This time must be used at the beginning or end of the employees’ regular working shifts, whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time away from the office, unless otherwise agreed upon between you and the employees.

However, if an employee has reason to know that he or she will need time off to vote at least three working days prior to the election, he or she must notify you at least two working days in advance to arrange a voting time.

Remember that you must also post these voting leave requirements in a conspicuous place in the office at least 10 days before any statewide election.

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