Election Day is nearly upon us.  Much like I did two years ago, it’s time to recap the rules for employers regarding the election.  The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for everyone to vote for their favorite candidate…or at least the one that they dislike the least.  You can find out where you should vote at this easy to use link.

Any Time Off Required?

One question that arises from time to time: Do employers in Connecticut need to provide employees with time off to vote?

Many states offer this protection.   However, Connecticut isn’t one of them.

What does that mean? It means employers can insist that employees vote during non-working hours and have no legal obligation to provide time off to employees to vote. 

However, a reminder to employees about the polls being open and that they should vote either before or after their particular shift or work hours is certainly appropriate.

No “Threats” To Employees

Connecticut does have one peculiar law, however, that prevents employers from interfering with an employee’s vote. In fact, earlier this year, Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 9-365 was amended to make interference with the election a Class D felony:

Any person who (1) during the period that is sixty days or less prior to any election, municipal meeting, school district election or school district meeting, attempts to influence the vote of any operative in his or her employ by threats of withholding employment from him or her or by promises of employment, or (2) dismisses any operative from his or her employment on account of any vote he or she has given at any such election or meeting shall be guilty of a class D felony.

Despite a version of this law being on the books for nearly 60 years, don’t expect to find much, if any caselaw or commentary on it.  Yet, employers should still avoid the appearance of suggesting how to vote to employees. 

Remind Employees of “Bill of Rights”

Employers can feel free to remind employees of their “Bill of Rights” for voting.   Connecticut set up these rules and summarized them in a document here.  Among the more noteworthy rules that employees should know of is their right to vote when they are “in line” at the time the polls close. 

Other Tidbits

Reviewing the state’s laws on elections also reveals some other interesting quirks and trivial details.  For example, voting areas must have have a United States flag on the wall (Connecticut’s flag is optional), and a telephone. (And no United Nations Flags are allowed.)

Election Day is nearly upon us.   Next Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents will take to the polls from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to vote for their favorite candidate…or at least the one that they dislike the least.  You can find out where you should vote at this easy to use link.

Any Time Off Required?

One question that arises from time to time: Do employers in Connecticut need to provide employees with time off to vote?

31states offer this type of protection.  However, Connecticut isn’t one of them.

What does that mean? It means employers can insist that employees vote during non-working hours and have no legal obligation to provide time off to employees to vote. 

However, a reminder to employees about the polls being open and that they should vote either before or after their particular shift or work hours is certainly appropriate.

No "Threats" To Employees

Connecticut does have one peculiar law, however, that prevents employers from interfering with an employee’s vote. Specifically Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-365 states:

Any person who, at or within sixty days prior to any election…attempts to influence the vote of any operative in his employ by threats of withholding employment from him or by promises of employment or who dismisses any operative from his employment on account of any vote he has given at any such election or meeting shall be [fined or imprisoned].

Despite this law being on the books for nearly 60 years, don’t expect to find much, if any caselaw or commentary on it.  Yet, employers should still avoid the appearance of suggesting how to vote to employees.  (Employers cannot provide misleading information about the vote either.)

Remind Employees of "Bill of Rights"

Employers can feel free to remind employees of their "Bill of Rights" for voting.   Connecticut set up these rules and summarized them in a document here.  Among the more noteworthy rules that employees should know of is their right to vote when they are "in line" at the time the polls close. 

Other Tidbits

Reviewing the state’s laws on elections also reveals some other interesting quirks and trivial details.  For example, voting areas must have have a United States flag on the wall (Connecticut’s flag is optional), and a telephone. (And no United Nations Flags are allowed.)

No matter your political affiliation, remember to exercise your right to vote on Tuesday and encourage your employees to do the same. 

 

Election Day is coming in less than two weeks (with today being the last day to register to vote via mail).  For some people, it’ll be the first time that they use new voting machines Voting Machine of the Past(The old lever system — pictured here — has been replaced by an optical scanner.)

While there are lots of sites discussing the effect of an election on employers, there isn’t much out there about what an employer’s obligations are.  Here’s what you need to know: 

No Threats

Employers cannot make threats to employees that link their employment to how they vote.  Employers who violate this statute are subject to imprisonment or a fine. Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 9-365 is the key law.

Despite this law being on the books for nearly 60 years, don’t expect to find much, if any caselaw or commenatory on it.  Yet, employer must still avoid even the appearance of suggesting how to vote to employees.  (Employers cannot provide misleading information about the vote either.) But notable, they can still encourage employees to exercise their right to vote. 

No Time Off Required For Voting

In Connecticut, the polls must be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Unlike some other states, Connecticut employers do not need to provide their employees with time off to vote.  However, a reminder to employees about the polls being open and that they should vote either before or after their particular shift or work hours is certainly appropriate.  Again, this is not influencing an employee’s vote. 

Remind Employees of "Bill of Rights"

Employers can remind employees of their "Bill of Rights" for voting.   Connecticut set up these rules and summarized them in a document here.  Among the more noteworthy rules that employees should know of is their right to vote when they are "in line" at the time the polls close. 

Other Tidbits

Reviewing the state’s laws on elections also reveals some other interesting quirk and trivial details .  For example, voting areas must have have a United States flag on the wall (Connecticut’s flag is optional), and a telephone. (And no United Nations Flags are allowed.)

Encouraging employees to vote is a great way for employers to both abide by the law and assist a valuable civic duty in getting performed.