Time Off to Vote
Voters will be heading to the polls again this Spring. Election Day in Texas is Saturday, May 6. For dates on other election dates such as early voting dates for elections in Texas, or to verify your correct polling location, click here for a link to the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
While there is no federal law that requires employers to give employees paid time off to vote, there are several state laws that regulate this area. Texas is one of them. If your business location is outside of Texas or you have sites outside of Texas, check with that state’s laws, or call our office to verify the requirements. In Texas, employees may request time off to vote and the time off should be allowed unless the polls are open for two consecutive hours outside of the employee’s working hours. For example, if an employee’s work hours end at 5 p.m. and the polls are open until 7 p.m., additional time off does not need to be permitted. Of course, employers cannot threaten or penalize an employee for taking time off to vote.
Some organizations offer motivational tools to encourage voting. For example, your company could provide employees an extra hour at lunch, let them off work an hour early for early voting, or simply send an email encouraging voting with a link to notify employees as to their correct polling location. In order to help manage the workflow and requests for time off, make sure your company has a policy which has been communicated to employees that outlines the process for requesting time off to vote.