Employer Voting Obligations in the MSEC Service Area

In anticipation of the November 8, 2016, general election, MSEC presents the following chart to assist members in determining their obligations for providing employees time off to vote.

State Covered Employees Notice/Documentation Compensation Leave Time
Arizona All employees eligible to vote in a primary or general election, unless an employee has three or more consecutive hours between the opening of the polls and the beginning of the employee’s work shift or between the end of the work shift and closing of the polls. An employee must request time off prior to the election. Yes An eligible employee may be absent for a length of time at the beginning or end of his or work shift that, when added to the time difference between his or her regular work shift hours and the opening or closing of the polls, a time period of at least three consecutive hours exists. An employer may specify the hours.
Arkansas All employees. No No An employer must schedule an employee’s work hours so that the employee has the time to vote.
California All employees are eligible for leave to vote in a statewide election, unless an employee has sufficient nonworking time to vote. An employee must provide at least two workdays’ notice of the need for leave.
An employer must post a notice of voting leave rights at least 10 days before election day.
Yes, up to two hours. As much time as needed. An employee may take time off at the beginning or end of the work shift (whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least amount of time away from work), unless otherwise mutually agreed.
Colorado All employees that are eligible electors, unless an employee has three or more nonworking hours to vote while the polls are open. An employee must request leave before election day. Yes Two hours. An employer may specify the hours, unless an employee requests the hours be at the start or end of the work shift.
Idaho While there is no state law directly on this topic, employers may not attempt to influence the vote of any employee through a promise or a favor, violence or threats of violence or termination of employment.
Kansas All employees entitled to vote in an election conducted by a county election official in Kansas, unless the polls are open for two or more consecutive hours before or after an employee’s work shift. No Yes An amount of time that, when added to the time the polls are open before or after an employee’s work shift, will not exceed two hours. An employer may specify the hours, but may not include the employee’s regular lunch period.
Montana N/A
Nebraska All employees who are registered voters, unless an employee has two consecutive nonworking hours to vote while the polls are open. An employee must request time off on or prior to the election day in order to get paid. Yes, as long as the employee provides proper notice. An amount of time that, when added to the employee’s nonworking time while the polls are open, equals two consecutive hours. An employer may specify the hours.
Nevada All employees who are registered voters, if it is impractical for an employee to vote before or after his or her working hours. An employee must apply for time off in advance of the election day. Yes An employee must be given sufficient time to vote, based on the distance between the employee’s workplace and polling place: One hour, if two miles or fewer; two hours, if more than two and up to 10 miles; three hours, if more than 10 miles. An employer may specify the hours.
New Mexico All employees who are registered voters, unless an employee’s workday begins more than two hours after the polls open or ends more than three hours before the polls close. Includes members of Indian nations, tribes or pueblos who are qualified to vote in the elections of the Indian nation, tribe or pueblo. No New Mexico law does not specifically address whether leave must be paid but states that employers cannot penalize an employee for taking leave. Two hours between the opening and closing of the polls. An employer may specify the hours.
North Dakota While there is no state law directly on this topic, it is the state’s policy to encourage all eligible voters to vote, which includes advocating that employers have a program that grants a registered voter a leave of absence to vote if the employee’s work shift conflicts with the times the polls are open.
Oklahoma All employees who are registered voters, unless the polls are open for three or more consecutive hours before or after the employee’s work shift begins or ends. An employee must provide oral or written notice of his or her intent to take leave at least one day before election day. An employee must also show proof of voting in order to get paid. An employer must notify employees if it selects the hours they may take leave. Yes, subject to the employee providing proof of voting. Two consecutive hours. If an employee needs more than two hours because of the distance to the polls, the employee is allowed an additional sufficient amount of time. An employer may specify the hours and may change an employee’s work hours to accommodate the leave.
Oregon N/A
South Dakota All employees who are registered voters, unless an employee has two consecutive nonworking hours when the polls are open. No Yes Two hours. An employer may specify the hours.
Texas All employees, unless the polls are open for two or more consecutive hours before or after an employee is scheduled to work. No Yes Amount of time allowed is not specified.
Utah All employees who are registered voters, unless an employee has at least three nonworking hours during the time polls are open. An employee must apply for leave before the election day. Yes Two hours. An employer may specify the hours, unless an employee requests leave at the beginning or end of the workday.
Washington N/A
Wyoming All employees who are eligible to vote, unless an employee has three or more consecutive nonworking hours during the time the polls are open. No Yes, as long as the employee actually votes. One hour (other than meal hours) during the time the polls are open. An employer may specify the hour.