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State Laws on Employee’s Time Off to Vote
How does this impact employers and their policies?

January 30, 2020 · Human Resource Management,

Employers, not even by the State law are required to allow their workers to take time off to vote. But the majority of the states persuade their employees to participate in their civic duty by providing them with sufficient time off for voting.

It is important for employers as well as employees to know their state and local voting laws. These laws will typically tell you whether employers are required to give employees, paid or unpaid, time off to vote and other important details.

Election Leave by States

Check out the table below to see how it works in your state:

STATE

VOTING LEAVE LAWS

ALABAMA
  • The law do require employers to give workers voting leave during the election.
  • Employees who are eligible to vote can make a request to the employer.
  • The employers are exempted from the law if the polls are open two hours before an employee’s schedule starts, or if the polls remain open for one hour after work is over.
ALASKA
  • Law requires employers to provide employees time off with pay to vote.
  • It exempts the employers if the polls are open and there is time to vote before the start and after the end of the working schedule of employees.
ARIZONA
  • It allows time off with pay for Primary and General elections.
  • An employer who refuses the employee will be guilty of Class 2 misdemeanor. (4 months imprisonment)
ARKANSAS
  • This law requires employers to schedule a time so that each employee would get enough time to vote.
  • Law does not require employers to provide paid time off to vote.
  • Employers who do not comply with the rules can be fined not less than $25 nor more than $250.
CALIFORNIA
  • This law allows employees a paid leave of upto 2 hours if they do not have enough time in their non-working hours.
  • It requires workers to notify their employers about leave at least 2 working days before the voting day.
COLORADO
  • Paid leave of up to 2 hours is provided to the employee if:
  • He has  been informed about the leave at least 1 day before the voting day.
CONNECTICUT
  • It does not provide any paid off for voting.
DELAWARE
  • Delaware law does not require an employer to allow employees time off, paid or unpaid, to vote.
  • An employer who refuses to allow an employee to use accrued vacation or personal leave to serve as an election officer may be found guilty of criminal contempt which can result in a fine of up to $500 or 180 days in jail or both.
FLORIDA
  • It does not have any law that allows an employer to grant paid leave to an employee for voting.
GEORGIA
  • The law does not require employers to pay for voting leave.
  • The employer may determine the time an employee will be absent from work to vote.
  • Law requires employers to provide leave for up to 2 hours if:
  • The employee has reasonable notice to take time off
  • If the polls are not open for at least 2 hours before the shift starts or after it ends.
HAWAII
  • The law requires employers to provide paid leave of upto 2 hours.
  • The employer is not required to pay for voting leave if the employee fails to vote.
  • The employer who fails to grant leave will be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $300.
IDAHO
  • This state does not have any law to grant employees leave either paid or unpaid.
ILLINOIS
  • The law requires an employer to grant leave only after appropriate notice has been given by the employee.
  • Law requires employers to provide leave for up to 2 hours.
INDIANA
  • It does not have any law that requires an employer to provide paid or unpaid voting leave.
IOWA
  • Time off to vote can be granted only if a written application is provided prior to the voting day.
  • No penalty or deductions can be made from the employee’s regular salary or wages for such absence.
KANSAS
  • The law requires any registered voter to leave work for up to 2 hours to vote.
KENTUCKY
  • An employee who is registered to vote and has requested prior to the day of voting is allowed to leave for up to 4 hours.
  • The employee must actually vote in order to receive the voting leave.
  • An employee selected as an Election Officer, upon prior request and approval, is allowed for 7.5 hours of leave based on 37.5 hours of work and 8 hours of leave based on 40 hours of the work week.
LOUISIANA
  • A probationary or permanent employee may be granted a time off of up to 2 hours, without the loss of annual or sick leave when voting for a primary, general or special election.
MAINE
  • Maine law does not require its employers to provide paid or unpaid leave to its employees.
MARYLAND
  • The law requires employers to permit employees a paid leave of up to 2 hours to vote.
  • Employees may be required to show their employers proof that they have voted.
MASSACHUSETTS

  • Massachusetts laws require that employees who apply be granted a leave of absence to vote during the two hours after the polls open.
  • Payment for voting time is at the discretion of the employer.
  • Employees should explain their reasons for needing more time and may also be requested to prove that they have voted by providing the name of the precinct where they cast their ballot.
MICHIGAN
  • It does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
MINNESOTA
  • According to law, an employee is entitled to leave without the loss of pay to vote.
  • An employee who utilizes the leave for some other work but does not cast a vote will be subject to disciplinary action.
MISSISSIPPI
  • It does not grant any leave to its employees, either paid or unpaid.
MISSOURI
  • This law allows an employer to grant 3 hours of leave to vote with prior notice by the employee.
  • An employer who violates this law is guilty of class 4 election offense i.e. 365 days jail or $2500 or both.
MONTANA
  • It does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
NEBRASKA
  • This state allows an employer 2 hours of paid leave to vote.
  • Pay cannot be deducted if the employee gives notice in advance of election day.
  • Employers have the right to set the time for leave to vote.
   NEVADA
    • Nevada Law requires employers to provide voting leave to employees for whom it’s impractical to vote:
      • 1-hour leave– If the voting place is 2 miles or less from the employee’s workplace.
      • 2-hours leave If the voting place is 2 miles but not less than 10 miles.
      • 3 hours- If the voting place is more than 10 miles.
    • The employer who violates this law is guilty of misdemeanors i.e. 180 days jail or $1000 fine or both.
    NEW HAMPSHIRE
    • It does not require an employer to provide employees time off to vote, either paid or unpaid.
    NEW JERSEY
    • It does not require an employer to provide employees time off to vote, either paid or unpaid.
    NEW MEXICO
    • It allows an employer to provide 2 hours of paid leave to the employees.
    • The employer can set the time for leave to vote.
    • The employer who violates this law is subject to fine of not less than $50 and not more than $100.
    NEW YORK
    • It allows voting leave of max. Of up to 2 hours.
    • To be eligible for leave, an employee must apply at least 2 working days before not more than 10 days before the day of voting.
    NORTH CAROLINA
    • It does not have any law that requires an employer to provide employees time off to vote, either paid or unpaid.
    NORTH DAKOTA
    • When an employee’s regular work schedule conflicts with time when polls are open, authorities must grant employees time off to vote.
    • The policy should be made in the written document
    OHIO
    • Employers are required to pay voting leave only to the salaried employees.
    • It prohibits an employer from terminating or threatening to terminate an employee for taking a reasonable amount of time off to vote.
    • An employer who violates this law is required to pay a fine not less than $50 and not more than $500.
    OKLAHOMA
    • The law requires an employer to provide time off of up to 2 hours to vote.
    • The voting leave must be paid if an employee provides proof of voting.
    • An employee must inform the employer about the leave at least 1 day prior to the day of the vote.
    • An employer who fails to provide the voting leave is subject to a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $100.
    OREGON
    • Oregon does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
    PENNSYLVANIA
    • Pennsylvania does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
    RHODE ISLAND
    • It does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
    SOUTH CAROLINA
    • South Carolina does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
    SOUTH DAKOTA
    • South Dakota law requires an employer to provide an employee with two (2) consecutive hours of paid leave to vote.
    • An employer may dictate when an employee may take voting leave.
    • An employer who fails to provide an employee paid voting leave commits to Class 2 misdemeanor(which includes 30 days imprisonment and $500 fine or both)
    TENNESSEE
    • The law of this state requires an employer to provide an employee paid time off of up to 3 hours to vote.
    • To be eligible for the leave, the employee must request before 12 noon on the day prior to the vote or election.
    TEXAS
    • Employers are required to provide up to 2 hours of paid time off to vote.
    UTAH
    • Utah law requires an employer to provide employees paid time off of up to 2 hours.
    • An employer may dictate when an employee may take paid voting leave.
    VERMONT
    • Vermont does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
    VIRGINIA
    • Virginia does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
    WASHINGTON
    • Washington does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
    WEST VIRGINIA
    • It requires an employer to provide 3 hours of paid leave to an employee who has requested the time off in writing 3 days before the day of election or vote.
    • Any employee who does not vote will not get the benefits of voting leave.
    WISCONSIN
    • The voting leave does not need to be paid.
    • Employers will dictate when an employee takes leave for voting.
    • Wisconsin law requires an employer to provide an employee up to three (3) hours of time off to vote
    WYOMING
    • Wyoming law requires an employer to provide 1 hour of time off to vote.
    • An employer may dictate when an employee takes paid voting leave.