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2020 Workplace Voting Leave Compliance [5 Tips]

by Brad Johnson on October 20, 2020
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November 3rd is Election Day. Are you properly prepared? 

Given the workplace challenges presented by The Coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, expect to rely heavily on your state's voting leave compliance laws for the 2020 presidential election. Here are 5 tips we recommend you implement this week to ensure compliance.

 

#5 Prepare to grant time off of work to vote 

Most states require employers provide at least a few hours off to vote. The advance notice that may be required from employees is often minimal. Be prepared to grant last-minute requests to vote, but encourage your employees to notify you sometime this week so you can properly prepare.

 

#4 Your state may require those hours to be paid

Many states require employers to pay employees during time off to vote. Two hours off of work is most common, while other states like Ohio require employers to provide employees with a "reasonable" time off of work to vote. Refresh your HR department on your state's paid time off to vote policy, then inform your employees.

 

#3 Post employees’ voting rights around your workplace

Does your state require voter rights to be posted around your workplace? California and New York require that a notice about employees’ voting rights be posted in a conspicuous location in the workplace. This could be challenging given the current work from home climate in the United States, so you should provide notice electronically to fulfill your state's requirement.

California requires that the notice be posted at least 10 days before the election—which is October 24, a Saturday. For Monday through Friday workplaces in California, we recommend posting or sending this notice by Friday the 23rd. California’s notice can be found in English here and in other languages here.  

New York also requires that the notice be posted at least 10 working days before the election, which is October 20 in a Monday through Friday workplace. New York’s notice is available here

 

#2 Encourage employees to take advantage of early voting opportunities

To reduce the number of absences on Election Day, November 3rd, it we recommend providing the same time off benefits to early voters. The availability of early voting and absentee ballots, however, does not change an employee’s right to vote on Election Day if that is their preference.

 

#1 Review your state’s voting leave compliance laws, they've likely been updated since the last presidential election

Many states have updated voting leave compliance laws to satisfy new workplace norms caused by The Coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic. We recommend you type "[your state] + 2020 Voting Leave Compliance laws" into your preferred search engine and select a “.gov” website for the most accurate results.

 

Key takeaways for 2020 Workplace Voting Leave Compliance [5 Tips]

Rely heavily on your state’s voting leave rules and regulations. Read up on them immediately, and notify your employees this week. Many states have updated voting leave compliance laws to satisfy new workplace norms caused by The Coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, so it's important to review them. 

If you’re one of our HR Support Center clients, search for “voting” to learn about the voting leave law in their state. We have also created a Quickstart Guide that addresses political conversations in the workplace and ways that employers can support employees’ ability to vote—you can find it by searching for “Quickstart voting.”