Today is Election Day!
Though it is a mid-term election, which usually has a lower turnout than presidential elections, it is equally important that employers review and know the laws regarding an employee’s right to vote and laws regarding time off to do so. When it comes to giving time off to vote, there are no federal laws that require an employer to permit an employee time off to vote, however; a majority of the states have laws requiring employers give employees time off to vote. Yes, most states have enacted laws requiring employers to allow employees time off to vote, these statutes of course are subject to the individual’s hours of work and the times when the polls are open.
Voting is a right in the United States, and Georgia state law ensures that work doesn’t get in the way of that right.
Georgia Code §21-2-404
Time off to Vote Each employee in this state shall, upon reasonable notice to his or her employer, be permitted by his or her employer to take any necessary time off from his or her employment to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election for which such employee is qualified and registered to vote on the day on which such primary or election is held; provided, however, that such necessary time off shall not exceed two hours; and provided, further, that, if the hours of work of such employee commence at least two hours after the opening of the polls or end at least two hours prior to the closing of the polls, then the time off for voting as provided for in this Code section shall not be available. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may absent himself or herself as provided in this Code section.
Just as employers should encourage their employees to participate in their community in any way they can; HR Strategies encourages every employer to be aware of the voting laws in every state in which they operate, as time off to vote is dealt with on a state-by-state basis.