Your Right to Vote and How it May Impact Working Time

Your Vote Matters!

Time Off to Vote in Illinois

On Tuesday November 8, 2022, elections will be held throughout the country for a variety of government positions. Your vote is important! There are several important issues on the ballot, some local in nature, some having statewide impact. This post is not a push or endorsement of any particular candidate or position, Rather, it is a reminder of how the right to vote is dealt with when it intersects the employment arena.

Employers may be confronted with, and in some cases be required to grant employees requests to take time off of work to vote in any election. Illinois law gives employees the right to take time off work, without fear of retaliation, for the civic responsibility of voting. Employees must be allowed to take up to two hours off, with pay, to vote, unless the polls are open at least 2 hours before or after a work shift begins or ends. The employer may decide when these hours are taken, but must provide the employee with a two-hour absence during work, if the employee doesn’t have two consecutive hours off before starting or after ending a shift while the polls are open. An employee must make a request for time off to vote at least one (1) day before the election. Importantly, if granted, this leave cannot carry with it any diminution in pay or any other penalty associated with being absent from work during working hours.

Illinois employers with 25 or more employees are also required to accommodate employees engaging in other election-related activities, such as serving as an election judge. An employee appointed to serve as an election judge is entitled to be absent from work for serving in that capacity. Once again, however, there are limitations on this right:

•           An employee must give his or her employer at least 20 days written notice of his or her absence.

•           Although an employer cannot penalize an employee for being absent to serve as an election judge, employers are not required to pay the employee for their time away from work to serve as an election judge.

With over 36 years’ experience in advising employers and employees on workplace issues, let Boznos Law work with you to ensure you are ready to meet the challenges posed by the changes to the employment laws. Call Bill Boznos today at (630) 375-1958 or contact us at through our website.  


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