Are Employees Entitled to Paid Time Off to Vote? (22 States Say Yes)
Are Employees Entitled to Paid Time Off to Vote? (22 States Say Yes)

Are Employees Entitled to Paid Time Off to Vote? (22 States Say Yes)

“Voting is a civic duty”

The United States was built on the principle of self-governance or autonomy, and the primary method most people use to exercise that right is by casting a vote for the people or the laws that most closely represent their personal values.

While this right is a very important one, today there’s no federal law that requires employers to provide time off from work for voters. Further, Election Day isn’t considered a holiday the way it is in many other countries. On a positive note, though, many states require businesses to provide paid or unpaid time off so their employees can vote.

Which states require employers to offer time off to vote?

Providing paid time off (PTO) to vote is required in 22 states; unpaid time off is required in seven more.

How much time off do they get?

Most states that require paid time off allow the employee to take two to three hours to vote, which is typically a reasonable amount of time for tackling long lines. Some states’ laws say that an employee can take time off for “as long as it reasonably takes to vote.” Additionally, other states require proof of voting in order for an employee to receive time off with pay.

state mandates employee paid time off to vote

The states that mandate PAID time off to vote are:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

(The state of Mississippi mandates time off for employees to vote but it doesn’t specify if it’s paid or unpaid time.)

The states that mandate UNPAID time off to vote are:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Wisconsin

Oregon and Washington don’t mandate paid or unpaid time off for voting; however, those are the only two states that allow their citizens to cast their ballots by mail so an employee shouldn’t have the need to take time off.

Establishing a Voting Policy

Several large companies (Etsy, Lyft and Pinterest to name a handful) offer Election Day as a paid, business-wide holiday, independent of state laws. If that’s not something in the cards for a company, though, the employer may specify the hours an employee can be away from work in order to cast their vote. By providing sufficient time for employees to vote, a business can help ensure that their civic duties are met.

Need help creating a PTO policy?

Check out our sample PTO policy for small and medium sized businesses. If your hands or full, Paycor can help. Our HR technology and expertise can guide you through the complexities of compliance and mitigate risk. Learn how.


Paycor guided hr software tour

More to Discover

What are W-3 Forms? FAQs and Helpful Tips for 2020

What are W-3 Forms? FAQs and Helpful Tips for 2020

As a trusted HR & payroll provider, Paycor gets hundreds of questions about Form W-3 each year. To help HR professionals mitigate risk, our compliance experts answered the most frequently asked questions around Form W-3. What is a W-3 form? Technical answer: Form W-3 is used to total up all parts of Form W-2. Both forms are filed together and sent to Social Security Administration (SSA) every year. Form W-3 is also known as “Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements.”What employers really need to know: As an employer your responsibility is to review all W-2s for your workforce, summarize employee wages and tax information and then combine that data into one W-3 form. What’s the difference between Form W-2 and Form W-3? The difference...

Employer Breastfeeding Laws by State

Employer Breastfeeding Laws by State

Breastfeeding, ACA and FLSA When President Obama made the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the law of the land in 2010, new amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) addressing breastfeeding in the workplace went into effect. The new guidelines require all employers in every state to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for their nursing child for one year after the child’s birth. States are Making Changes While the federal government laid the foundation, 32 states have built upon the basic law. Some states have clarified whether these breaks are paid or unpaid and some have extended how long breastfeeding mothers are protected by the law.Where does your state stand? Use the chart below to find out....

Case Study: Smuttynose Brewing Company

Case Study: Smuttynose Brewing Company

Compliance concerns and a desire to streamline their overall HR process led Smuttynose Brewing Company in Hampton, N.H., to find HR & payroll software that suited their needs. With employees scattered throughout the Northeast, Smuttynose needed an efficient way to collect hours worked and to ensure payroll tax compliance. “Paycor is a one stop shop with great customer service and that service does not stop after implementation. I consider Paycor to be a true partner. I am extremely satisfied that I made the switch to Paycor and believe that satisfaction will only grow stronger as our partnership has a chance to mature.” —Mia Jennings, Director of HR, Smuttynose Brewing Paycor’s HR, recruiting and onboarding solutions streamlined a...

The Role of HR in Risk Management

The Role of HR in Risk Management

HR Risks Covered:Recruiting Interviewing Drug Testing Background Check Employee Handbook Paying Employees Wage and Hour PenaltiesPay EquityHarassment PolicyTermination Where Are You Most Vulnerable? Tightrope walkers are kind of like human resource managers.You have big, long term goals and you want to make a difference. Yet day to day, you step carefully, balancing the complexities of the workplace.We love to talk to HR professionals about their strategic goals – for inspiration, check out Unlock the True Power of HR.In this article, however, we’re focusing on another aspect of your job: risk management, or risk balancing. We’ll walk you through some (certainly not all!) of the most common risks HR professionals need to balance...