Should You Allow Your Employees Time Off to Vote? Three Considerations for Connecticut Employers

votingElection Day is now less than two weeks away. While many states require employers to provide their employees with time off to vote, Connecticut is not one of them. Employers in the state should, however, keep the following considerations in mind:

If you provide your employees with paid vacation, personal days or other paid time off (“PTO”), some of your employees may choose to use this time to vote, especially if you allow employees to take time off in less than full-day increments. Now is a good time to remind your employees of any advance notice they are required to give you before taking PTO so that you can coordinate leave times and minimize the possibility that several employees in a single department will be out at the same time.

Non-exempt employees who do not receive PTO, or who have exhausted their PTO benefits, may request unpaid leave time to vote, especially for a presidential election. Be prepared for such requests and make sure your responses are applied fairly and in a non-discriminatory manner.

If you have offices in multiple states, determine your obligations under the laws of these other states. Some states may require paid leave, while others may require only unpaid leave. In New York, for example, an employee is entitled to up to two hours of paid leave if he or she does not have sufficient time to vote during non-working hours, and the employer must post a notice not less than 10 days before an election informing employees of their rights.

Even though Connecticut employers are not required to offer voting leave, employees may wish to vote during working hours. Having a plan in place to accommodate your workers can help keep your business running smoothly on Election Day.