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Paid time off to vote is on the rise, survey says

Paid time off to vote is on the rise, survey says
[Photo: Parker Johnson/Unsplash]

More companies than ever will offer their employees paid time off to cast their ballots this year, Bloomberg reports.

About 44% of U.S. companies will do so, up from 37% last year, meaning that the majority of companies still don’t provide such a provision, according to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management. Some businesses have also instituted no-meeting policies for Election Day, hoping to clear up employee schedules, and some have added onsite registration to make sure their employees are actually eligible to vote.

Voter turnout is lower in the United States than many other countries, and the difficulty of workers with inflexible schedules actually making it to the polls is often cited as a reason why. Many states do have laws requiring employers to give workers time to vote in some circumstances, according to a Nolo.com roundup, but the exact provisions vary widely from state to state.

For example, Alabama only requires employers to provide one unpaid hour at a time of the business’s choosing, while New York says workers can take as long as they need if they don’t already have four consecutive non-work hours while polls are open and can get paid for at least two hours of voting time.

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