November 6th is right around the corner. Be in the Know what your rights are when employees ask if they can change their schedules to Vote!
By: Jody Hay, Freelance Contractor Jody@McCloskeyPartners.com
Politicians are on TV destroying each other’s reputations, political signs have been stuck in the ground wherever you look, and we’re receiving recorded messages from celebrities on our phones…
Election day is coming~ Are you Ready for it?
All kidding aside, voting for the individuals we feel best represents us may be the most important right we have as United States citizens.
As employers, you will want to make sure you are not impeding employee’s right to vote while balancing the need to continue to have work completed on time.
Laws that Protect Employee Right to Vote
As an employer, the first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with voting related legal protections people have in the states in which your organization operates. Federal law, believe it or not, does not provide employee protections, but many states do, and there is variance between the states. For example, some states require that employers pay their employees time missed as a result of voting while others don’t. Also, some states require that employers post employee voting rights along with other posting requirements.
Opinions and Politics
People tend to be more vocal about their opinions regarding politics as election days approach. Many times, political discussions can get heated and disrupt the work environment. Employers are not obligated to allow political discussions while people should otherwise be productive. On the other hand, people are free to share their opinions during breaks, duty free meal periods, and any other time they’re off the clock.
It’s important to note here that people should never perceive they’re being pressured by their employer to vote for a political candidate. Sensitivity awareness is highly recommended, and it may be worth reminding your managers what is appropriate/ inappropriate behavior.
How you can Prepare as November 6th approaches
McCloskey Partners, LLC recommends that every organization adopt its own policy and communicate whatever the process is so employees know what is expected of them if they will miss time to vote.
It is suggested that your policies include the following:
- Employees should make every effort to vote either prior to or after their normal working hours.
- Many state voting laws specify the number of hours before or after an employee’s normal working hours the polls must be open for an employer to deny a request for time off to vote. The policy should in the very least adhere to this law.
- Employees should determine and request any necessary time off prior to Election day.
- Whether or not the time away from work to vote is paid time off or if the individual needs to use vacation time or otherwise take the time off without pay. Again, states with employee voting laws vary in terms of whether or not employers are required to pay their people to vote during work hours.
- It’s important to point out that some states allow employers to require some type of proof of voting. Employers that wish to adopt this requirement should check their state laws to verify this is allowed.
If you need assistance or guidance regarding your Employee’s Rights to take time off to vote, contact us today! Contact us at 215-716-3035 x 0 or firstname.lastname@example.org