Federal Law Alert: Voting Leave Compliance
Election Day is almost here, so as an employer, now is a good time to brush up on voting leave laws.
Most states require that employers provide at least a few hours off to vote, and many of those require at least some of that time off to be paid. The advance notice that may be required from employees is often minimal, so employers should be prepared to grant last-minute requests to leave work to vote.
California, DC, and New York also require that a notice about employees’ voting rights be posted in a conspicuous location in the workplace. Employees who work from home or don’t report to the workplace regularly should be provided with these notices electronically.
California requires the notice to be posted at least 10 days before the November 8 election—which is October 29, a Saturday. If you’re closed on Saturdays, we recommend posting or sending this notice by Friday the 28th. California’s notice can be found in English here and in other languages here.
The District of Columbia
DC requires that employers post a voting leave notice created by the DC Board of Elections (DCBOE). The law doesn’t set a deadline, so we recommend posting it immediately if you haven’t yet. This election’s notice can be found in English here and in other languages under the Time Off to Vote link on the DCBOE’s webpage.
New York requires the notice to be posted at least 10 working days before the November 8 election (this would be October 25 in a Monday-through-Friday workplace). New York’s notice is available here.
Voting Leave Logistics
Employers in states with early voting may want to encourage employees to take advantage of that option—by offering the same time-off benefit—to reduce the number of absences on Election Day. The availability of early voting and absentee ballots, however, doesn’t change an employee’s right to vote on Election Day if that’s their preference.
We encourage employers to visit the laws pages on the platform to learn about the voting leave law in their state. We also have a guide, Managing Political Conversations and Supporting Employee Voting Rights, available on the platform.