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Q&A: We have had a few employees ask if they can take time off to vote. Do we need to allow that?

Question:

We have had a few employees ask if they can take time off to vote. Do we need to allow that?

Answer from Kara, JD, SPHR:

Yes, you may need to allow employees time off to vote, and you may even need to pay them for it.

The specifics will depend on state law. Most states do require some kind of time off. Two hours is the most common allowance, and generally, the employer can require that the employee take it at the beginning or end of their work day. The number of time employees must be allowed often depends on how much time they have before or after their shift while the polls are open.

To learn about the law in the state or states where you operate, check out the Jury, Witness, and Voting Leave pages in the State Laws section of the HR Support Center.

Picture of Kara, JD, SPHR

Kara, JD, SPHR

Kara practiced employment law for five years before joining us, and worked in Human Resources for several years prior to that. As an attorney, she worked on many wage and hour and discrimination claims in both state and federal court. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oregon State University and earned her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.

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HR Girlfriends™ is a Human Resources networking organization dedicated to advancing the practice and culture of people empowerment. Our team of Girlfriends consult, train, educate, develop, share, promote, and advocate for solutions in the field of human resource management.

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