Election 2016: Your Obligations to Your Employees

Don’t worry, this isn’t another political post! As you know, election 2016 is imminent. Did you also know that in some states, employers have legal responsibilities on voting day?

Attorney Richard Alaniz advises employers to familiarize themselves with their legal obligations and plan ahead. “With the election looming, companies that are required to offer time off to employees should develop a policy that covers all logistics,” writes Alaniz. “The policy should explain what the company expects and whether employees need to communicate ahead of time if they plan to arrive late or leave early to vote. The policy should obviously be shared with all workers and supervisors, so there are no surprises on Election Day.”

Alaniz, who specializes in employment law, notes that there are no federal laws giving employees time off to vote; however, it is required in 31 states. Of those 31 states, some require employers to pay employees for that time off. Here’s a look at some state-specific laws:

  • California: Employees may take up to two hours paid time off to vote, usually at the beginning or end of shift
  • Nevada: Employees may take up to three hours off work to vote, depending on distance to polling place
  • Arkansas: Employers must schedule workers in a way that gives them time to get to the polls
  • Texas: It is a misdemeanor for an employer not to allow employees time off work to vote
  • Colorado: Companies can lose their corporate charter if they deny employees time off to vote

With November 8th fast approaching, now is the time to get your policy in place and communicate that to your employees.

To read more, see the full article. This post is not meant as a substitute for legal counsel. Consult with an attorney if you require legal advice.