Time off to Vote

I don’t normally do this, but given the volume of questions out there and the likelihood that so many of your employees are going to try to game the system and/or ignore rules regarding time off to vote this will be a repeat edition of the HR Tip of the Week. 

There is no federal law regarding time off to vote, so each state determines whether employees are entitled to time off during working hours to vote and, if so, how much.  The following are a few of the states that have laws on this issue that may be relevant to your business.  If you have questions about other states that you have employees working in, please feel free to reach out to us to assist.

 

MN

WI

IL

SD

TX

MA

Req. employers to provide time off?

Yes

Yes

Yes, only if the polls are not open for at least two hours before or after the employee’s hours of work

Yes, but only if the polls are not open for at least two hours before or after the employee’s hours of work

Yes, but only if the polls are not open for at least two hours before or after the employee’s hours of work

Yes, but only for employees in manufacturing, mechanical or retail

How much time?

As much time as is necessary for the employee to vote

Up to 3 hours

Up to 2 hours

Up to 2 hours

Up to 2 hours potentially

First 2 hours after the polls open

Is the time off work paid?

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes, but only if employee unable to vote outside work day because there are less than 2 hours to do so

No

Can I request that employees provide advance notice of if and when they intend to vote during working hours?

Yes, but you cannot require it as a condition for time off to vote

Yes

Yes

Yes, but you cannot require it as a condition for time off to vote

No

Yes

Can I decide when the employees takes the time off work to vote?

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

In part

No