Remember Your Employee’s Right to Vote this Election Season

Article written by Melissa Olsen, Human Resources Manager at KerberRose Certified Public Accountants.

With midterm elections quickly approaching, employers need to be mindful of employee’s rights to take time off of work in order to exercise their right to vote.

Federal law does not address the right of an employee to take leave from work for voting purposes; however most states do have some for of “voting leave law”.  Wisconsin’s leave allowance is one of the most gracious, allowing a maximum of three hours during an employees work day.

This little known law has been in place since 1945, but is surprisingly underutilized.  The law states that an employee who is eligible to vote but is unable to vote during non-working hours may request leave for a maximum of 3 consecutive hours for voting purposes.

Employees must submit a written request for leave to their employer with at least two days advanced notice prior to Election Day and must be eligible Wisconsin voters to qualify for this entitlement.  The employee’s application should outline the reasons for their need to vote during working hours as well as the estimated time that it will take to travel to the polling location, cast their vote and return to work.  Additionally, it is the employer, not the employee, who designates the time of day which the employee may take their leave.  (s. ER 18.11, Wis. Admin. Code)

Employers are required to provide this leave without penalty to the employee; however an employer is not required to pay the employee for their time away.  Employers who have an active CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) in place should examine their CBA to ensure that additional provisions do not apply.   The Wisconsin statute specifically extends this law to apply to both public and private employees.  (Wis. Stat. § 6.76(1))

About KerberRose Certified Public Accountants

KerberRose is a Wisconsin certified public accounting firm located in Northeast and North Central Wisconsin. KerberRose was previously listed on Inside Public Accountings Top 300 Firms in 2017. With over 160 professional staff members and offices in Shawano, Green Bay, Fox Cities, Clintonville, Sister Bay, Rhinelander, Oshkosh, Stevens Point, Antigo and Wausau, KerberRose combines the expertise of a leading regional firm with the convenience, familiarity and passion of a local provider.

Melissa Olsen

About the Author

Melissa Olsen
PHR, Human Resources Administrator & Marketing Coordinator

Comments are closed.

From The Blog