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Know Your Rights: State Laws on Employee Time Off to Vote

Photo by Ho John Lee

Federal law does not require that employers allow their workers time off to vote, but the majority of states have at least some level of protection for employees who want to leave work to engage in their civic duty. The specifics vary by state, but in each state, the rules apply to almost every type of workplace. Employers are required to know what the laws are and to provide adequate accommodations, according to the rules of that state. Nearly all of the states allow employers to refuse time off to vote for those employees who have two or three hours off during the time the polls are open (the number of hours varies by state). 

Alabama: Workers are allowed up to one hour off to vote.

Alaska: Time off is required, but no specific limit is listed as long as the time available is "sufficient" time to vote.

Arizona: Time off is required, but no specific limit is listed as long as the time available is "sufficient" time to vote.

Arkansas: Time off is required, but no specific limit is listed as long as the time available is "sufficient" time to vote.

California: Employers must pay for up to two hours of leave for voting.

Colorado: Employers must pay for up to two hours of leave for voting.

Connecticut: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

Delaware: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

District of Columbia: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

Florida: The state does not address the issue, but many local ordinances do.

Georgia: Employees get time off to vote, but their boss determines when.

Hawaii: Workers are allowed up to two hours to vote. (Source.)

Idaho: Only state workers are required to receive paid leave to vote and only when work interferes with being able to get to the polls.

Illinois: Workers are allowed up to two hours to vote. (Source.)

Indiana: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

Iowa: Workers are allowed up to three hours off to vote.

Kansas: Employees get time off to vote, but their boss determines when.

Kentucky: Workers are allowed up to four hours off to vote.

Louisiana: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

Maine: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

Maryland: Employers must pay for up to two hours of leave for voting.

Massachusetts: Workers are allowed up to two hours off to vote. (Source.)

Michigan: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

Minnesota: Time off is required, but no specific limit is listed as long as the time available is "sufficient" time to vote.

Mississippi: Employers cannot give workers more time to vote than is necessary.

Missouri: Workers are allowed up to three hours off to vote.

Montana: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

Nebraska: Workers are allowed up to two hours off to vote. (Source.)

Nevada: Workers are paid for up to one hour off to vote, or more depending on the distance to the polling location.

New Hampshire: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

New Jersey: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

New Mexico: Employees get time off to vote, but their boss determines when.

New York: Employers must pay for up to two hours of leave for voting.

North Carolina: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

North Dakota: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote, but recommends it.

Ohio: Time off is required, but no specific limit is listed as long as the time available is "sufficient" time to vote.

Oklahoma:  Workers are allowed up to two hours off to vote, or more depending on the distance to the polling location.

Oregon: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

Pennsylvania: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

Rhode Island: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

South Carolina: Does not require employers to give employees leave to vote.

South Dakota: Employees get time off to vote, but their boss determines when.

Tennessee: Workers are allowed up to three hours off to vote.

Texas: Time off is required, but no specific limit is listed as long as the time available is "sufficient" time to vote.

Utah: Employees get time off to vote, but their boss determines when.

Vermont: There is no requirement for leave to vote, but a law allowing time off for attending town meetings can be applied to voting, giving up to four hours for time off to vote.

Virginia: Only requires unpaid leave for employees who are also poll workers.

Washington: No time off is necessary, the state is entirely vote-by-mail.

West Virginia: Workers can have time off to vote provided they notify employers at least three days in advance.

Wisconsin: Workers are allowed up to three hours off to vote.

Wyoming: Workers paid for up to one hour off to vote.

Information derived from state government and other reliable publicly available sources, but not guaranteed.  This is not legal advice.  

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