State voting leave laws 2020: What’s required?

There are currently no federal laws regarding whether or not business owners have to give paid or unpaid time off for employees to vote. However, 29 states and the District of Columbia have their own legislation in place when it comes to time off to vote around election day. 

The 2020 voting leave laws vary from state to state. Some states require employers to pay for the hours an employee takes off work to vote in person. Others simply allow employees to take time off, but do not require you to pay them for it. 

Before Election Day (Tuesday, November 3), take a look at the 2020 state voting leave laws and the details you need to know, which are listed below. This way you can ensure compliance when your employees don’t have time to vote outside of work hours. 

Be sure to also take a look at your state’s labor law guide to learn more about paid and unpaid leave requirements and other employment laws in your area. 

State voting leave laws (2020)

State Is voting leave required? Is the leave paid? What you need to know
Alabama Yes No You must provide employees up to 1 hour of time off to vote, unless the employee starts work 2 or more hours after the opening of the polls, or completes work at least 1 hour before they close.

You can specify the time during which the employee may take leave to vote. Employees must provide reasonable notice of their leave.

Alaska Yes Yes You are required to provide employees paid voting leave if they don’t have 2 consecutive hours of non-working time to vote. 
Arizona Yes Yes Eligible employees must be given 3 hours of paid leave to vote if they don’t have 3 consecutive hours before or after their regular work shift to vote. You may specify when an employee can take the leave.
Arkansas Yes No You are required to schedule an employee’s time on election days so that each employee has the opportunity to vote.
California Yes Yes You are required to pay for up to 2 hours of voting time, but employees must receive as much time as they need to vote if they can’t vote outside of their shift. Employers can schedule leave for the beginning or end of a regular work shift. They must notify you at least 2 working days beforehand. 

You are required to post a notice in the workplace at least 10 days before statewide elections informing your team of the voting leave law. 

Colorado Yes Yes Eligible employees must get 2 hours of paid time off on an election day, unless they have at least 3 non-working hours to vote.

You are allowed to specify the hours taken, but if the employee requests to take the leave at the beginning or end of their shift, you must allow it. Employees must apply for voting leave prior to the election day.

Connecticut No
Delaware No
District of Columbia Yes You must provide employees with at least 2 hours of paid leave to vote in person in any district election or, if the employee is not eligible to vote in a district election, any election run by the jurisdiction in which the employee is eligible to vote.

You must grant the leave upon the employee’s request, but they must have been scheduled to work during the requested time.

Florida No
Georgia Yes No You must provide up to 2 hours of leave to vote to employees who provide “reasonable advance notice,” but not if an employee has at least 2 hours of nonworking time during the time the polls are open.

You are allowed to specify the time during which an employee may take leave to vote.

Hawaii No Hawaii repealed its voting leave law when the state instituted voting by mail for all elections, beginning in 2020.
Idaho No
Illinois Yes Yes You are required to provide employees 2 hours of paid time off to vote if the polls are not open for 2 hours before or after their shift.

You may decide when the employee may take those hours to vote. They must apply for voting leave prior to the day of election.

Indiana No
Iowa Yes Yes You are required to provide up to 3 hours of paid leave to vote to employees who do not have 3 consecutive non-working hours to vote. You may designate the time(s) for employees to take off. 
Kansas Yes Yes You are required to provide employees up to 2 hours of paid voting leave if they do not have 2 consecutive hours to vote outside of work. 

You may specify the time during which an employee may take leave to vote, but may not designate the regular lunch period as voting leave time.

Kentucky Yes No You must provide employees at least 4 hours of leave to vote, or to request an application for or to execute, an absentee ballot.

Employers may specify the time during which an employee may take leave to vote. 

Louisiana No
Maine No
Maryland Yes Yes You are required to provide eligible employees up to 2 hours of paid leave to vote, unless employees have 2 consecutive hours of nonworking time to vote.

Employees must show proof that they at least attempted to vote.

Massachusetts Yes No Employers in any manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment must permit entitled employees to take time off to vote during the first 2 hours after the polls open.
Michigan No
Minnesota Yes Yes You must provide employees with the “necessary time” to vote on an election day. 
Mississippi No
Missouri Yes Yes You must allow employees to take up to 3 paid hours of voting time leave, unless they have 3 hours of nonworking time to vote.

You may specify the time an employee may take. 

Montana No
Nebraska Yes Yes You must provide up to 2 paid hours of leave to employees who don’t have 2 consecutive hours of nonworking time to vote.

You may specify the time during which an employee may take leave to vote. 

Nevada Yes Yes Employers must provide sufficient paid time off for employees to vote if they cannot vote before or after working hours.

You are allowed to specify the time during which an employee may take leave.

New Hampshire No
New Jersey No
New Mexico Yes Yes You must provide up to 2 hours of paid voting leave unless they have at least 2 non-work hours to do so.

You may specify the time during which an employee may take leave to vote. 

New York State Yes Yes You must pay for up to 2 hours of voting leave for any election if the employee does not have at least 4 hours before the closing of the polls to vote outside work hours. 

Your employee can take as many hours as needed, but you only have to pay for 2. You must post a notice laying out the state’s voting leave laws at least 10 working days before every election.

North Carolina No
North Dakota No
Ohio Yes Yes The required paid voting leave is for salary employees, and unpaid for hourly workers. 
Oklahoma Yes Yes You must grant employees 2 hours of paid leave to vote if they give advance notice and provide proof of voting.

You may select the day and time the employee can take off to vote.

Oregon No
Pennsylvania No
Rhode Island No
South Carolina No
South Dakota Yes Yes Employers must provide 2 consecutive paid hours for employees to vote, unless they are able to do so outside of work.

You may specify the time during which an employee may take leave to vote. 

Tennessee Yes Yes Employers must provide employees who give notice before noon the day before up to 3 paid hours to vote, unless the employee has at least 3 hours outside of work to vote.

You may specify the time during which an employee may take the leave.

Texas Yes Yes You must provide employees paid time off to vote unless an employee has 2 consecutive hours outside of work to do so. 
Utah Yes Yes Employees must be given up to 2 hours of paid time off to vote, unless they have 3 hours outside of work to do so.

You may specify the time an employee may take the leave, but if the employee requests that the leave occur at the beginning or end of the work shift, you must allow it.

Vermont No
Virginia No
Washington No
West Virginia Yes Yes You must provide employees up to 3 hours of paid time off to vote if the employee provides a written request at least 3 days prior to the election day.

To be eligible they must not have 3 hours outside of work to vote. 

Wisconsin Yes No You must provide employees up to 3 hours of unpaid time off to vote, but you may specify the time during which an employee may take leave to vote.
Wyoming Yes Yes You must provide employees 1 hour of paid time off to vote, unless an employee has 3 consecutive hours of nonworking time to do so.

You may specify the time during which an employee may take leave to vote..

 

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