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 Supplemental Unemployment Benefits?

What are Supplemental Unemployment Benefits?

Reductions in force are unavoidable in economic downturns, but are traditional severance packages the way to go? They can be a big hit to your company’s cash flow and are subject to payroll taxes. The tax-friendlier option, Supplement Unemployment Benefits plans (SUBS), can spread out costs and deliver the same value for the employee, too. How Do Supplemental Unemployment Benefits Plans Work? SUBs got popular in the ‘50s as a way to help workers in industries with cyclical employment patterns get a more steady income. SUBs were often fought for in collective bargaining agreements. They’re growing in popularity again across industries. Under a SUB plan, in the event of a Reduction in Force (RIF) or temporary unemployment due to training,...

Take Our HR Benchmarking Quizzes

Take Our HR Benchmarking Quizzes

Paycor's research shows that 75% of high-functioning HR teams spend their time on mastering key pillars of HR excellence. Want to know how your team stacks up against others? Take our benchmarking quizzes to find out and get customized action plans based on your results. Recruiting Benchmark Quiz Benefits Benchmark Quiz Labor Costs Benchmark Quiz People Management Benchmark Quiz Compliance Benchmark Quiz

Remote Work Policy - Information Security Template

Remote Work Policy - Information Security Template

To make remote work successful, HR needs to think through risk mitigation policies, especially if it’s new to your organization. One of the biggest issues to consider is information security. It’s important that your remote workers know what to do in case of a security breach or data loss. Download Remote Work Information Security Policy Template Why Information Security is Important for a Virtual Workforce Protecting your company’s data (and the data of your clients) is hard enough when everyone’s working in the same office. It gets more difficult in a distributed, virtual environment. When an employee is offered the opportunity to work remotely, you may want them to sign an initial work from home agreement covering the general...

COVID-19 ADA Requirements

COVID-19 ADA Requirements

UPDATE JUNE 22: Updated EEOC guidance states that “requiring antibody testing before allowing employees to re-enter the workplace is not allowed under the ADA”. What is the ADA? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that provides protection to disabled workers. The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of a physical or mental disability. This legislation applies to any business with at least 15 employees and prohibits discrimination against those with disabilities in all aspects of employment. How does the Coronavirus pandemic impact ADA compliance? Short answer, we don’t know yet. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The Basics The ADA broadly prohibits discrimination in...