What Are Your Legal Obligations as an Employer on Election Day?

November 1, 2018

As I’m sure you’re aware from the constant barrage of political advertisements, we are less than a week away from Election Day in 2018 which is Tuesday, November 6. As an employer, what are your legal obligations to your employees with respect to time off for voting?

To regular readers of the Lancaster Law Blog, it should come as no surprise that the answer is “it depends” – in this case, primarily it depends on what state your employees are located in. In some states, Pennsylvania included, employers have no legal obligation to give employees time off to vote.

That being said, the majority of states do provide time off in order to vote with certain requirements by statute. A summary of your state’s voting laws can be found here: Workplace Fairness – State Laws on Voting Rights/Time Off To Vote. Be sure to check with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction to confirm the impact of voting laws on you and your business.

Just because there is no legal obligation to give time off doesn’t preclude voluntary employer accommodations for voting. Employers may permit time off, flexible work schedules such as allowing extra time over lunch, arriving late or leaving early in order to accommodate voting. For example, Russell, Krafft & Gruber permits flexible work hours on Election Day in order to allow our employees to vote. Also, several of our attorneys volunteer their time at the polls.

In order to check your voter registration status in Pennsylvania, check out Pennsylvania Voter Services’ Voter Registration Status tool.

If you’re registered to vote, find your polling location and the hours you’ll be able to vote here:

Matt Landis is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from Widener University Commonwealth School of Law and works regularly with  employers and employees.