Voting is a fundamental right of every American. Every election matters. This coming election season it is imperative that employers in Ohio encourage every employee to vote. In this blog we are going to guide you to the resources to make sure that your business is compliant with the laws for the state of Ohio. As always, contact us with any questions you may have about how you can help your employees get to the polls.
Ohio, like other states, has specific rules regarding voter leave, which allows eligible employees to take time off work to vote in elections. Please note that these laws may change from time to time, so it's essential to verify the most up-to-date information with the Ohio Secretary of State's office or your local election authority.
No employer, his officer or agent , shall discharge or threaten to discharge an elector for taking a reasonable amount of time to vote on election day; or require or order an elector to accompany him to a voting place upon such day; or refuse to permit such elector to serve as an election official on any registration or election day; or indirectly use any force or restraint or threaten to inflict any injury, harm, or loss; or in any other manner practice intimidation in order to induce or compel such person to vote or refrain from voting for or against any person or question or issue submitted to the voters.Section 3599.06
Ohio law provides that eligible employees have the right to take time off work to vote on Election Day. It is only a "reasonable" amount of time, as determined by the employer. The only pay requirement for employers is that they cannot deduct pay from a salaried employee for time spent voting.
To qualify for voter leave, an employee must be a registered voter in Ohio and must not have had sufficient time to vote outside of their working hours. In other words, if your work schedule, including time spent commuting, is entirely within the hours the polls are open (usually 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM), you are eligible for voter leave.
There is no statutory notice required, though an employer may request an employee to give advance notice. The notice should be given at least one day before Election Day. Allowing employers to plan for work schedules accordingly.
Employers in Ohio are generally obligated to comply with these voter leave laws and cannot penalize employees for taking time off to vote. However, employers have the right to specify when during the workday the time off can be taken. They can choose to grant this time at the beginning or end of a shift if it doesn't unduly interfere with the employee's ability to vote.
Employers may require employees to provide proof that they voted, such as an "I Voted" sticker or a receipt from the polling place. However, Ohio law prohibits employers from demanding to know how an employee voted.
It is important to check the most current information from the Ohio Secretary of State's office or your local election authority. Additionally, federal and state election laws can change. Stay informed about any updates to your voting rights and responsibilities on the Ohio Government website HERE.
The right to vote is something every employer should covet. Making sure that your employees can take part in this civic duty is paramount to our nation. Encouraging participation for all employees should be good business practice. We would even suggest making sure every employee feels empowered to take the time to take part in voting, not just in national elections, but in regional elections too. Need ideas to help bring awareness to your team? Contact ClarityHR today!