Do Employees get time off to vote?

Do you have to give your employees time off for voting?  The answer is “yes” in most states, but there are specific conditions which change depending on your location.

Do you have to give employees PAID time off for voting?  Yes, in certain states.

These questions are important for an employer to know, especially in some states where you can face thousands of dollars in fines or jail time if you violate your employees’ rights.  Basically, your employees must have enough time before or after their work day to vote.

States requiring that employees have sufficient non-work time to vote:
AK (2 hrs before or after work)
AL (2 hrs before work/ 1 hr after work)
AR (sufficient time- not specific)
AZ (3 hrs before or after work)
CA (sufficient time- not specific)
CO (3 non-working hrs)
CT (no specific time)
DC (no specific time)
DE (no specific time)
FL (no specific time)
GA (2 hrs before or after work)
HI (2 non-working hrs)
IA (3 hrs before or after work)
ID (no specific time)
IL (2 non-working hrs)
IN (no specific time)
KS (2 hrs before or after work)
KY (4 non-working hrs)
LA (no specific time)
MA (time off for first 2 hrs the polls are open)
MD (2 hrs before or after work)
ME (no specific time)
MI (no specific time)
MN (sufficient time- not specific)
MO (3 hrs before or after work)
MS (no specific time)
MT (no specific time)
NC (no specific time)
ND (sufficient time- not specific)
NE (2 hrs before or after work)
NH (no specific time)
NJ (no specific time)
NM (2 hrs before work or 3 hrs after work)
NV (1-3 non-working hrs)
NY (4 hrs before or after work)
OH (sufficient time- not specific)
OK (3 hrs before or after work)
OR (no specific time)
PA (no specific time)
RI (no specific time)
SC (no specific time)
SD (2 non-working hrs)
TN (3 hrs before or after work)
TX (2 hrs before or after work)
UT (3 non-working hrs)
VA (no specific time)
VT (no specific time)
WA (2 hrs before or after work)
WI (sufficient time- not specific)
WV (3 non-working hrs)
WY (3 hrs before or after work)
*Check with your state to verify the # of non-working hours that are required to be free to vote.
*Many of these state laws require the employees to notify you in advance for them to get the time off.
* Some cities/counties have additional laws about time-off to vote.
*Some states impose fines and/or jail time on employers who fail to give employees time off to get to the polls.

Which states require you to PAY employees for voting time if they do not have enough non-working hours to go vote: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, IL, IA, KS, MD, MN, NE, NV, NM, NY, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WV, WY  (Check with your state to verify how many hours must be paid)

Steps you should take:  Whenever possible, avoid overtime on election day.  By doing so,  most employers will be in compliance with “time-off for voting” laws.  Be sure to investigate the specifics in your particular state(s).

Voting Day is the day to AVOID OVERTIME or extended shifts, so that you do not get into trouble with Voting Time Laws.  Most states keep their polls open long enough that an employee can vote before or after their work shift.  However, if you make an employee work 10 or 12 hours on Voting Day then you will probably have to allow them to leave for up to 2 hours so that they can vote (and you may have to pay for that time, depending on your state).

Learn more:  Go to your state’s official website to research the details on “time off for voting”

Get your employee policies in writing: Avoid confusion for your employees and supervisors by getting your employee policies in writing, including Time Off for Voting.  Consider hiring a professional consulting company to design a handbook specific to your industry/ location/ size. Learn more from New Wind Business Solutions:


2 thoughts on “Do Employees get time off to vote?

  1. Louanne Huckle

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  2. Stephen Colvin

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