As a citizen, it is your civic responsibility to vote. Under state law, employers are required to let their employees take time off work so they can vote (although there is no federal law on the issue). State laws may provide that employers must give some time off for employees to go to the polls.

Will I Still Get Paid and Can I Get Fired?

Some state laws provide that employees who take time off to vote must still be paid. Others provide that such employees must be given the time off, but do not have to be paid. Most states forbid employers to discipline or terminate an employee for leaving to vote. Some state laws may require employees to prove that they actually voted or may require that they request the time off in advance.

What are the Differences Between States?

Since there is no federal law on the subject, each state has its own set of laws on the issue of leave for voting. Some states, like Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, have no laws on the subject. Others such as Illinois and Wisconsin require employers to take unpaid leave to vote. California, New York, Texas, and other states require paid leave. For example, California provides two hours of paid voting leave with two workdays’ notice.

A government lawyer from your state would be able to inform you of your state’s unique voting and voting leave laws. It is important to know your state’s laws because the laws may vary significantly from state to state.