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Human Resource Requirements | Time Off To Vote

Human Resource Requirements: Is Your Company Required To Provide Time Off To Vote?

Human resource requirements for allowing employees time off to vote are a perennial source of confusion for employers. It’s little wonder, given that while federal law guarantees a citizen’s right to vote, it is left to the individual states to determine whether employers are required to give employees time off work to vote, how much time and when, and whether or not that time must be paid.

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering a resolution, H.R. 2887, which, if enacted, would require all employers, nationwide, to provide employees two hours of paid leave on the day of any federal election. Until or unless a federal law is established, each state has its own requirements for employers to provide voting time.

Know Your State’s Requirements

Currently, there are 31 states which have laws requiring employers to provide some time off for employees to vote, and of those, 24 require employers to pay for that time. Hawaii, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming specify that workers must only be paid if they actually vote. Maryland has a similar law, but their requirement states that employees establish that they made an attempt to vote.

In some states, employees may be required to provide notice in advance (typically 2-10 days) of their intent to take time off to vote. Most states which have these laws allow the employer to determine what time of day the employee make leave to vote. The District of Columbia and 19 other states and have no laws at all with regard to providing time off to vote.

Penalties for businesses that fail to comply with state laws range dramatically from North Dakota’s maximum fine of $15,000 for a corporate entity which does not comply, to Kansas and Missouri which sets fines of $2,500 for an individual employer’s non-compliance, to Arkansas, where failure to provide legally required paid time off results in fines starting at $25.

Some states require employers to provide employees a notification of their rights in advance of election day. Protect your company by checking your state’s laws each year, and know what, specifically, you are required to do and to provide your employees with regard to election voting time off.

Expert Advice For Any State

The Payroll Company provides business solutions and expert consulting on human resource requirements, staffing, and payroll matters for clients in all 50 states. We help simplify the process of maintaining legal compliance on this and other critical issues, providing our clients clear answers to complicated questions. Contact us online or call us today at 877-763-5111 to learn how The Payroll Company can help your company run smoothly and profitably while maintaining proper compliance in all HR matters.