Volume 3, Issue 16
October 20, 2004
As Election Day fast approaches, employers may be wondering if they are required to give employees time off from work to vote. While federal law protects the rights of individuals to vote, there is no federal law that requires private employers to give employees time off to vote. Many states, however, have laws requiring private employers give employees time off to vote and many even prohibit employers from deducting the time off from an employee's pay. Nevada's law pertaining to employees' rights to vote is codified at NRS § 293.463.
In Nevada, if it is impracticable for an employee to vote before or after his hours of employment and the employee has applied for leave prior to Election Day, an employer must allow the employee to take time off to vote with pay. The length of time off ranges between 1-3 hours depending on the distance between the employee's place of employment and the employee's assigned polling place (2 miles or less = 1 hour; more than 2 miles but less than 10 miles = 2 hours; more than 10 miles = 3 hours). Employers who violate this law are guilty of a misdemeanor. See NRS § 293.463.
Given the polling times and availability to vote early in Nevada, most employees should have more than sufficient time to vote before or after work. However, there is an Attorney General Opinion issued in 1986 that indicates NRS § 293.463 should be interpreted in a liberal manner to achieve its purpose of ensuring employees have the opportunity to vote.
Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.