With Election Day approaching (November 3, 2009), employers are reminded to review their policies and practices regarding the provision of time off to vote. Most states require employers to allow employees time to vote during the workday and, in some cases, to inform employees of their right to time off. Sharing information with employees about taking time off to vote may help avoid the impression they are entitled to paid time off (if in fact they are not), or that they may spend the time volunteering for a candidate rather than simply casting their ballots. Employees should also be informed of whether the law requires them to give advance notice of their intention to vote during the workday.
A chart summarizing an employer’s obligation to provide leave in jurisdictions with applicable legislation can be found here. Of course, local law also should be consulted.