Alert: Employers Take Note: Employee Voting Rights in Virginia

As Election Day approaches, it is important that employers understand their responsibilities under the law. In Virginia, there is no general statute that requires employers to give employees time off to vote. However, as in any situation, employers should take a reasonable approach; if an employee may not have an opportunity to vote otherwise, particularly if his/her work hours fully encompass polling hours, an employer should strongly consider allowing the employee time off to vote.

If an employee has been officially appointed as an officer of the election by the local board of elections, then this employee has several statutory rights under Virginia law. Employers must allow an employee serving as an officer of election time off to discharge his/her duties in that role, and may not force the employee to use his/her vacation or sick leave, provided that the employee has given reasonable notice. When an employee serves as an officer of election for four or more hours, the employer may not force the employee to start work after 5:00 p.m. on that same day or before 3:00 a.m. the following morning.

Employers with operations outside the state of Virginia need to evaluate and consider the laws of all states in which they have employees. Please contact Gentry Locke’s Employment Law attorneys if you have questions regarding this issue or other matters involving employee relations.

Please note: This page is provided for general informational purposes only and is a marketing publication of Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP. It is intended to alert visitors to developments in the law and is does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. You are urged to consult your own lawyer concerning your situation and specific legal questions you may have.

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