Time Off For Voting – Rules For Employers

Written by Joanna Morrow

Joanna Morrow, Principal and Founder of Employer Benefits & Advice, is an employer consultant and advocate who has worked in the employee benefits industry for over two decades. She works diligently to help employers overcome obstacles in their business by sharing her expertise in Human Resources, Benefits & Compensation, Process Mapping, Risk Management and ERISA/DOL/IRS compliance. She is a licensed life and health insurance professional in the State of Arizona and is an active member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU).

Time Off For Voting – Rules For Employers

As the 2016 U.S. presidential election draws near, employers should be prepared to handle requests from employees for time off from work to vote on Election Day, which is Nov. 8, 2016.

Federal law does not require employers to provide their employees with time off to vote.

However, many states have voting leave laws that allow employees to take time off to vote in certain circumstances. The specifics vary by state, but many of these voting leave laws may:

  • Require the leave to be paid
  • Impose a notice requirement on employees
  • Allow employers to designate the hours during which employees may be absent to vote

ARIZONA LawIn the state of Arizona, employers must provide employees with paid leave to vote in a primary or general election, unless they have at least three hours before or after work to do so.

Employers must provide an amount of leave that would give employees three consecutive hours (including non-working time) to vote at the polls. Employees must apply for leave prior to Election Day. Employers may designate the hours that employees may be absent. A.R.S § 16-402

If you have employees working outside of Arizona, click here to download a free copy of “Granting Time Off To Vote – Rules for Employers”, a quick and easy to follow employer resource that provides the voting rules in all of the other 50 states.