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Employers should review “time off to vote” laws before Election Day

Most states require workplaces to give employees sufficient time to vote, but laws vary widely among jurisdictions

President Obama cast his ballot early, but plenty of Americans will still be headed to the polls next Tuesday. During the next week, employers should brush up on voting rights laws in their states to ensure they give employees sufficient time to cast their ballots on Election Day.

In all, 31 states require employers to give workers time off to vote, although the statutes vary widely in terms of the time provided, whether that time is paid or unpaid and whether the employee must give advance notice. Some states also mandate that employers post notices of voting rights laws.

Nineteen states—including Michigan, Indiana, Florida and Virginia—do not have state laws requiring employers to give workers time off to vote, but workplaces should be aware of local laws that may be applicable.

These laws don’t just cover voters; they also can apply to elected officials. Employers in some states must give workers time off to serve as election officials or to hold elected office, according to Jackson Lewis’ Workplace Resource Center.

Read more from Jackson Lewis.

See a breakdown of state voting laws from Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease.

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Alanna Byrne

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