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Five Things Every Employer Should Know Before Election Day

Posted by Cesar Juarez on Nov 2, 2016 12:22:39 PM

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5Five Things Every Employer Should Know Before Election Day

Election day is fast approaching.  Does your company have adequate policies in place to address employee requests for time off to vote? Employee’s rights regarding time off on election day vary from state to state.  Here are five things every employer in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota should know before election day.

  1. Employees have the right to leave work to vote under certain circumstances

In Iowa, employees who do not have three consecutive hours while the polls are open and when they are not required to be at work, are entitled to time off from work to go vote. 

In Nebraska and South Dakota, employees are likewise entitled to time off from work to go vote, so long as they do not have two consecutive hours while the polls are open and when they are not required to be at work.

  1. How much time off?

In Iowa, employees are entitled to a total of three consecutive hours while the polls are open. These three consecutive hours may include time during which the employees were required to be at work, plus time when the employees were not required to be at work. 

In Nebraska, employees are entitled to a total of two consecutive hours while the polls are open.  Like in Iowa, this time includes both time during which the employees were required to be at work, as well non-work time.

In South Dakota, employees are entitled to a total of two consecutive hours while the polls are open.  South Dakota law does not include non-work hours in the time off calculation for voting purposes.

  1. Do employees need to provide advance notice to the employer?

In Iowa, employees are required to provide a written application requesting time off to go vote before election day. 

In South Dakota, employees are not required to provide advance notice employers.

In Nebraska, employees are not required to provide advance notice to employers.  However, employers are required to provide advance notice to employers in order to be paid for the time take off to go vote (up to the maximum amount stated above).

  1. May employers deduct employee wages?

In Iowa and South Dakota, no.

In Nebraska, yes only if the employees did not provide request time off to vote before election day.

  1. May employers specify the specific working hours when employees will be allowed to be absent?

Yes, in all three states.

For more information on what restrictions, if any, employers may place upon an employee’s request for time off to vote and/or for questions of potential consequences for failure to allow employees to leave work to go vote, please contact one of Goosmann Law Firm’s skilled employment attorneys at 605-371-2000.

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Topics: Employment Law, Politics

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