Small Business Owners Give Paid Poll Breaks

Small Business Owners Give Paid Poll Breaks

Complaints about long lines at the polls for early voting urges some small business owners to give their employees the morning off. Not wanting to give their employees and ultimatum such as getting to work on time or voting.

Small business owners who don’t want to impede their employees civic duty to vote are offering flex times, poll breaks, or in some cases the morning off. Some companies small and large a like are taking the entire day off to let their workers vote. A ballot holiday, giving employees added incentive to vote. Owners of these businesses say that want to encourage voting saying the intense emotions in the presidential campaign this year make it more important while others say its important that everyone gets a chance to be involved in what happens in this country.

Some states have laws forcing companies to allow time off for voting. Some of these state laws require paid leave for voting. The federal government does not require businesses to offer off time for employees, but business owners aren’t strictly motivated by law.

Many business owners report their employees rushing their work towards the end of the day during past elections so they can get off work early and have time to vote. Often rushing out of the office at 6:30 hoping they have time to make it before closing at 7.

Another problem is that after normal business hours the polls get flooded with people just getting off work. This makes the lines even more unreasonable. Giving employees time off during working hours helps alleviate the lines during peak hours. Many people don’t have time to wait around in line for hours after work.

Some companies are allowing employees to take off any time during early voting. “They can do it this afternoon or on Election Day,” says Flynn, CEO of Red Sky, a communications strategy firm based in Boise. “Whenever they need to, whenever they want to.”

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