Remember to vote — but, if you work in Michigan, do it on your own time

votedRemember to vote — but, if you work in Michigan, do it on your own time.

QUESTION:  I have a class in the evening on November 8 – Election Day – which makes it hard for me to vote after work. If I go vote during the workday, does my employer have to pay me for my time at the polls?

ANSWER:     While 30 states require employers to allow employees time off (with pay) to vote, Michigan is not among them. If you work in Michigan, your employer has no legal obligation to give you time off to vote. However, many firms do have policies in place that allow workers to take time off to cast their ballot. Check your Employee Handbook to discover your employer’s policy or contact your Human Resources department.

Although employers do not have to allow workers time off on Election Day, if they do have a policy, it should be in writing, it should clearly address eligibility, pay, notice and scheduling requirements for time off to go to the poll. And it should comply with laws on fairness and equal access, among others: It’s obviously illegal for an employer to allow only those of one political party, one race, or one gender, or one class of worker time off to vote while denying this privilege to others. A wise employer will also make sure supervisors receive training on the policy, and know how to respond to requests for hours off on Election Day.

The lawyers at GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC are experienced attorneys and are happy to answer your questions. Give us a call for a free initial telephone consultation about your legal needs. For consideration of your questions in our web column, please submit your inquiry on the “Contact Us” page of our website at

By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.

Attorney and Counselor at Law
901 Wilshire Drive, Suite 550
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 247-3300
(248) 247-3310 facsimile
[email protected]