Election Day is Coming Soon - Do You Know Your Employees' Voting Leave Rights?

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With Election Day for many federal offices just around the corner, Tuesday, November 2, you may need a quick refresher on your employees’ voting leave rights under state law. Voting leave requirements vary by state, but to give you a start, here is a summary of them for Alabama, California, Georgia and Tennessee.

Alabama – Employees are given “necessary” time off to vote, not to exceed one hour. The employee must give reasonable notice to get the time off. However, if the polls open at least two hours before the employee starts work and close at least one hour after the employee ends work, the employer doesn’t have to give the employee time off. The statute doesn’t specify if the time off is paid. (Ala. Code Section 17-1-5).

California – Employees are allowed up to two paid hours time off at the beginning or end of their regular working shift to vote. An employee must provide notice at least two working days in advance of the election if, on the third working day prior to the election, the employee knows or has reason to believe there will be a need for time off to vote. An employee will be excluded from the time off rules if there is sufficient non-working time to vote. Although the law requires time to be taken at the beginning or end of the work shift, the employer and employee can agree on another arrangement. Employers must post a conspicuous notice of employee voting rights ten days before every statewide election. (Cal. Election Code Sections 1400 and 1401).

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