October 24, 2016 – VALDOSTA – As the 2016 U.S. presidential election draws near and many states have early voting days, employers should be prepared to handle requests from employees for time off from work to vote on Election Day, which is Nov. 8, 2016.
Federal law does not require employers to provide their employees with time off to vote. However, many states have voting leave laws that allow employees to take time off to vote in certain circumstances. The specifics vary by state, but many of these voting leave laws:
- Require the leave to be paid;
- Impose a notice requirement on employees; and
- Allow employers to designate the hours during which employees may be absent to vote.
“Employers should be aware of the voting leave laws and be prepared to comply with them, explains Trey Taylor, CEO of Taylor Insurance Services. To make sure everyone is clear employers should communicate with their employees on company policy early and often so there is no confusion on voting leave.”
In Georgia, employers must provide employees with up to two hours of time off to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election. However, leave is not available if employee’s work hours begin at least two hours after the polls open or end at least two hours before the polls close. Employees must provide the employer with reasonable notice of absence. Employers may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent (GA ST § 21-2-404).
For additional information on state voting leave laws, contact your Taylor Insurance Services expert at 229-247-6411or visit https://www.usa.gov/voting.