Voting Leave Laws by State
Author: Melissa Burdorf, XpertHR Legal Editor
When Election Day nears, employers should be prepared to respond to an employee's request for time off to vote. While there is no federal law mandating voting leave, many states require that employers provide employees with time off to vote and/or to serve as an election official. The following chart covers each states' various requirements for private employers. Most state laws address whether an employee needs to:
- Meet any eligibility requirements;
- Provide advance notice or documentation requesting time off to vote;
- Receive compensation for time off to vote; and
- Vote during a specific time designated by the employer.
Many states will impose a criminal penalty on an employer that fires or engages in an unfavorable employment action because an employee takes time off or requests time off to vote. No matter what state an employer operates in, the employer should not discipline an employee because the employee exercised his or her right to vote.
Employers should familiarize themselves with the applicable leave laws in the states in which they operate. This will help an employer manage time off requests and juggle work schedules. Employers should immediately put a plan or policy in place to comply with their particular legal requirements, which may include notifying employees of their voting leave rights prior to the election.
States that have no requirements regarding voting leave are marked N/A.
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