Kentucky Political Activity: What you need to know

Under the Kentucky Election Law, employers must allow employees who are entitled to vote to take up to 4 hours off in order to vote or to apply for an absentee ballot, provided the employee applies for the time off prior to Election Day. The employer may specify which hours the employee may be absent. No deduction in wages is allowed unless the employee fails to vote after taking time off for that purpose (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 118.035).
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Election officers. Employees selected to be election officers must be granted an entire day to attend training or serve as election officers. Employers cannot penalize employees because they take voting time leave or leave to serve as election officers.
Under Kentucky law, an employer is prohibited from discharging, threatening, or coercing an employee in an effort to influence the employee's vote. Employers also may not give out any statement that employees have been requested to vote for any person (KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 121.310).
Note: This law has been determined to be unconstitutional as applied to a state employee. In the case, the court held that the part of the law prohibiting employers from circulating statements to employees violated the free speech rights of a county clerk who circulated a letter to employees containing a statement that the clerk would “very much appreciate” a vote for and support of his friend, who was running for state senator (State Registry of Election Finance v. Blevins,57 S.W.3d 289 (Ky. 2001)). Despite this ruling, employers should still proceed with caution in this area.
Classified service. No classified service employee will in any way be favored or discriminated against with respect to employment ...

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