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Voting Leave Notices Are Essential For Upholding Employee Rights

Make sure you know what employees’ rights are come election season. 

About a month before election day in November, HR and compliance consultants start to field dozens of calls from clients asking about a variety of election day issues. Most states require that employers provide employees at least a few hours off to vote, and many of those same states require at least some of that time off to be paid. Employees are often required to give minimal advanced notice, so employers should be prepared to grant last-minute requests to leave work to vote. 

To prepare, employers are advised to check state laws where their employees are located and make sure they afford all the rights to which their employees are entitled. Several jurisdictions across the U.S. also require that a notice about employees’ voting rights be posted in a conspicuous location in the workplace. Employees who work from home or don’t report to the workplace regularly should be provided with these notices electronically. 

The jurisdictions with the most specific requirements are California, New York, and the District of Columbia. What follows are summaries of these requirements, as well as where to find the required physical notices.


California requires a voting leave notice to be posted at least 10 days before the November election—which typically falls during the last week of October. If that October date falls on a weekend, be sure to post or send the voting requirements notice by the preceding Friday. California’s voting leave notices are available via PDF download on the Secretary of State’s website, and come in multiple languages. 

The District of Columbia

D.C. requires that employers post a voting leave notice created by the D.C. Board of Elections (DCBOE). The law doesn’t set a deadline for posting, but employers should post it as soon as possible. Notices for upcoming elections can be found in English and in other languages under the Time Off to Vote link on the DCBOE’s webpage. (The link may not be available outside of election season.)

New York 

New York requires the voting leave notice to be posted at least 10 working days before the November election day. This would typically fall during the final week of October in a Monday-through-Friday workplace. The notice can be found on the New York State website. 

Employers in states with early voting may want to encourage employees to take advantage of that option—by offering similar time-off benefits—to reduce the number of absences on Election Day. The availability of early voting and absentee ballots, however, doesn’t change an employee’s right to vote on Election Day if that’s their preference.

Regardless of your state’s policy, employees should feel that they are able to make their voices heard on election day. Make sure your internal policies reflect this fundamental freedom! Explore Star’s Policy Management solution for a simplified way to organize and update your corporate policies.