With election day quickly approaching, many people are anxious to exercise their right to vote and make sure their voices are heard. However, workers may wonder if they have to take time off to vote, and what their rights are with respect to work and voting.
While each state differs, Georgia provides specific guidelines for its citizens. First, pursuant to Georgia law, where the polls are not open for a minimum of two hours before of after work, employers must allow employees two hours of leave to vote. (Georgia Code Ann. Section 21-2-404) However, employees must provide their employer reasonable notice and the employer may specify the hours when the employee can leave. Further, for non-exempt employees, whether this time is paid or not is up to the employer. Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), exempt employees (those workers who make at least $455/week and whose duties fall within certain white collar categories), this time off is paid.
While employers should do the right thing and provide employees with the time needed to get to the voting booth, Georgia workers who are concerned may also take advantage of the states early voting opportunities, and avoid the long lines on election day.
For more information or if you have any question concerning time-off to vote, please contact our Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.