High voter enthusiasm amid global pandemic makes it more important than ever for employers to know their obligations to provide employees time off to vote
In an election season where high turnout is expected, while in the middle of a global pandemic, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. legal experts have provided guidance to help employers stay aware of their obligations and employees understand their rights come election day.
While there is no federal law that requires time off for voting, many states do have time-off-to-vote laws requiring that employers provide employees time to vote, with some states mandating that the time be paid. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way voting may look in many states—with expanded voting by mail and early voting options.
“While the pandemic has spurred new allowances for voting by mail and early voting, it is critical for employers to be aware of their obligations to their employees to allow them time to vote, especially during an election in which voters’ rights are under more scrutiny than ever,” said Barbara O’Dell, J.D,, legal analyst at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. “While 20 states do not have existing time-off-to-vote laws, employers in those states should note that there may be extended poll hours in their district.”
States Without Any Time-Off-To-Vote Laws
Wolters Kluwer experts note that the following 20 states do not have any time-off-to-vote laws at this time.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Time-Off-To-Vote Laws by State
Below is a list of time-off-to-vote employer requirements and employee benefits listed alphabetically by state. Some common requirements include giving employees 1-3 hours to leave work to vote while polls are open without penalty, and some include the same benefit without loss of pay. Penalties for not fulfilling these requirements or influencing an employee’s vote through some sort of election day intimidation range from fines of $25 to up to $10,000 and up to five years imprisonment.
List of time-off-to-vote employer requirements and employee benefits.
For More Information
For members of the media interested in additional information on time-off-to-vote policies or an interview with an expert from Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., please contact us at [email protected].
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