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FeaturedGeneral BusinessUncategorizedOctober 11, 2016by Stanton LawAvoiding an Election Day Headache: Balancing Your Employees’ Right to Vote with Your Company’s Needs

Mercifully, the elections are just around the corner. Your employees may request time off to vote. How do you balance the need to have your business staffed and operating smoothly against your employees’ right to vote? Do you have to allow employees to take time to vote during the work day? If you do, how much time do they need and does it have to be paid?

There is no federal law that requires employers to give employees paid time off to vote. But many states have laws regulating this area, including Georgia. This is what you need to know about Georgia law on election day:

  • Employers are required to give employees up to two hours to vote unless the polls are open at least two hours before or two hours after the employee’s scheduled work hours. Georgia polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.
  • The law does not require the two hours be paid.
  • If an employee qualifies for the two hours, the employer can specify the hours in which the employee may vote. For example, an employer can ask the employee to vote during non-peak customer hours – so long as they are provided the two hours required by law.
  • Finally, employees are required to give reasonable notice to their employers. An employer may ask employees to provide reasonable notice within a certain time period before election day so that staffing needs can be arranged.

The election is only one month away. If your employees will be impacted and will need two hours to vote during the day, make decisions now so that your business will experience minimum interruption. Let your employees know of any notice requirement as well as any specifications regarding when they may vote on election day based on your business needs. If you have any further questions, give us a call. We’re happy to help.  May God help us all.