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Monday, November 4, 2013

Can I take time away from work to vote?

Today Henry County, Georgia residents are heading to the voting booth.  But does your right to vote give you the right to walk away from your job and go to the polls?  The short answer is: It depends.  Federal law protects your right to vote, but laws regarding balancing your obligation to work and vote vary by state.  Here are the details for Georgia residents:

According to state law, Georgians should be allowed two hours to go vote.  Polls are typically open from 7am-7pm, so residents who have two hours off of work during that time period are expected to go vote while they are not scheduled to be at work. 

Georgia voters who are expected to work 11 or 12 hours while the polls are open on an election day have the right to take up to 2 hours off of work to go vote, but need to give reasonable notice to their employer.  And, the employer can specify what time of the day employees can leave work to go vote. 

These rules attempt to balance between the interests of the employee and the employer.  Good employers should encourage their employees to vote and help facilitate the voting process.  Georgia law does not specify whether employees should be paid for the time off spent voting, although in 24 other states, employees must be paid for time spent voting.  In some states (Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming) employees are paid for their time off only if they actually prove that they voted, although in Maryland it's sufficient for employees to establish that they attempted to vote.  Best rule of thumb – plan ahead and communicate with your employer to ensure you can cast your ballot on election day. 

Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the State of Georgia with expertise in this area of law. We have an uncompromising commitment to serving our clients and our community. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business. For more information about Employment Law, contact Lajuana Ransaw or call 770-957-3937.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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