HOW TO ADDRESS TIME OFF TO VOTE
Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 should prove to be an eventful day at the polls. Planning ahead to help make the work day go as smoothly as possible for your company, is vital to ensuring that everyone gets to cast their vote. If all of your employees are interested in voting, here’s how to plan ahead to avoid chaos, and in some cases, avoid having to provide PAID time off.
Laws vary depending on where employees are located. Be sure to check your state and local laws for guidance. For our Colorado employers, to avoid providing PAID time off to vote, employees must have at least three hours of unscheduled time during open polling times. Polls are open from 7 am to 7 pm on election day. Three hours of time allows employees to cast their ballot and collect their “I voted” sticker.
Employees working in Colorado who are scheduled for a full 12-hour shift from 7 to 7 or have less than 3 hours of unscheduled time between 7 am to 7 pm on election day, are entitled to take up to 2 hours while the polls are open to vote. If the employee does not have 3 hours of unscheduled time, then they must be PAID for their voting time. You as the employer may choose when the employee can go to the polls, but, if the employee requests, the time off must be at the beginning or end of the employee’s shift. As you can imagine, this could leave you in a state of chaos with less than adequate coverage when you need it most.
Be sure to build schedules for the day that provide employees at least 3 hours during polling times. Considering traffic and logistics of getting in and out of polling stations, you may want to consider providing three consecutive hours as a courtesy. And even if your state does not have specific time off for voting requirements, we would recommend offering it. Because every vote matters!
State law is a great place to reference requirements, but as always, an excellent way to communicate expectations and benefits provided by your company, such as time off, is by providing policies in an employee handbook.
Questions/comments/concerns? simplyHR would love to hear from you!
simplyHR is an HR consulting firm located in Fort Collins, CO. Servicing companies in all 50 states, our goal at simplyHR is to provide training, education, partnership, and resources to make Human Resources simple for small businesses.
The content of this website provides practical and HR best practice information and is not legal advice. simplyHR LLC does not provide legal advice or other professional services. While every effort is made to provide accurate and current information, laws change regularly and may vary depending on the state and/or the municipality your business operates in. The information provided from simplyHR is provided for informational purposes and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgement. You should review applicable federal, state and municipality laws in your jurisdiction and consult with legal counsel as you deem necessary.