Companies aren’t required to shut down on , but many give their staffers paid time off to go to the polls — 44 percent, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resources Management, a trade group. Small business owners who wonder what to do should first check their state and local laws.
There’s no federal law requiring employers to give staffers time off to vote, but a majority of the states do. Many states provide for two hours of paid time off to vote, but the laws vary widely in how much time companies must give, and when they must give it. For example:
Some states also require employees to give bosses advance notice that they’ll need time off to vote; how much notice varies from state to state.
As long as owners are meeting the requirements of state and local laws, they can make their own policies on time off for voting. Many companies are more liberal than the laws require — the Society for Human Resources Management survey also found that 29 percent of companies give their staff more unpaid time off to vote than their state laws require.
As with all other workplace policies, a voting policy should be in writing and made available to staffers.
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