Are you Prepared and HR Compliant for Election Day?
Election Day is almost here! November 3rd is approaching fast, so now is the time to review your company policies, handbooks, and plans related to the day of. It’s important to make sure you are legally compliant with regard to time off for employees to cast their votes and/or participate in the election process through other local opportunities. Please review the information below, and if you have any questions or concerns, reach out to us – the sooner, the better – so we can both rest easy knowing your organization is all set for Election Day!
In terms of time off for voting, there are a few main points of Wisconsin’s statute (§6.76). Any person (employee) who is eligible to vote in the upcoming election is entitled to a period of not more than 3 back-to-back (consecutive) hours to cast their vote. The employee is to inform the employer of the intended absence from work prior to election day, the hours off are to be taken during the period of time when polls are open, and the employer can choose the time of day (for example: morning, or end of shift). A business is not required to pay employees for time off to vote, nor is it allowed to impose any sort of penalty because of time away from work to vote.
Should an employee be interested in serving as a worker at the polls (registered with the state to do so as a volunteer), there is no time period allotment similar to the 3 consecutive hours mentioned above. However, employers may allow employees to use unpaid or paid time off for the activity. The issue of time off to vote becomes more complicated if a business operates in more than just Wisconsin. For example, some states require a notice to be posted with voting information and employee rights a certain number of days prior to Election Day, and others may require the employer to pay for voting time off. Also, this is where the above-mentioned review of your organization’s handbooks and policies come into play, as the information contained therein may go beyond the Wisconsin statute, or statutes in other states relevant to your business.