No matter who you are supporting in the upcoming election, I think we can all agree that we'll be glad when Election Day has come and gone. Making your voice heard by voting is extremely important, and so is keeping your job. So what if you have to work on November 8? Here are your options:
1. Early voting. If you don't even want to ask your boss about taking time off, vote before Election Day gets here. If you're in Georgia, you can find more information about early voting here. If you're in Chatham County, check out this website for more information on where to go vote before November 8.
2. Time off. Georgia has a statute that provides employees two hours off work to go vote on Election Day. However, there are some restrictions on this right.
- You have to give your employer "reasonable notice." Don't tell your boss you're leaving to vote 5 minutes before you head out the door.
- Your employer can control when you get time off to vote.
- Your employer does not have to pay you for the time you take off to vote.
- If your shift starts at least 2 hours after the polls open or ends at least 2 hours before the polls close, you don't get the time off.
South Carolina and Florida do not have similar laws, so employees in those states need to count on early voting or squeezing in the time to vote before or after work. Employers in Florida, however, are prohibited from punishing or firing an employee for voting (or not voting) in an election. Make sure your voice is heard and your shift is covered. Plan ahead for November 8 and contact us with your employment law questions.