Political Activity: What you need to know

There is no federal law that requires employers to give employees paid time off to vote, but many states do have laws that regulate this area.
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Even when not required to do so by state law, many employers allow employees to take time off to vote when they cannot get to the polls because of their working hours. Some employers pay employees for this time. If you decide, as a matter of policy, to give employees time off to vote, include the policy in your employee handbook and post it on your company bulletin board. Require employees to apply in writing to their supervisors for the time off and then file the request with note of its approval or disapproval in the employee's personnel file.
An employer’s policy for time off to vote could also include the following provisions:
• The employer supports the rights of its employees to participate in federal, state, and local elections.
• All employees who are registered voters may, if there is not sufficient time outside of their regular shift, request time off from work to vote in a direct primary, presidential primary, or general election.
• Employees may take the necessary time off to vote at the beginning or end of a shift, whichever requires the least time off the job. However, not more than 2 hours of time off will be paid. Note: State laws often set reasonable time limits.
• The company does not consider this as time worked, and therefore, this time will not be used in the calculation of overtime.
• This company has a deep interest in and concern for community affairs. Employees wishing to serve as election officials are encouraged to do so. The company [will or will not] pay the difference between any amount of pay an employee receives for ...

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State Requirements

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New special report will explain how to manage political behavior at your workplace. Employers must be familiar with the important federal and state laws surrounding voting laws, political activity in the workplace, their own conduct, and the conduct of their employees."
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