time off from work to vote

March 20, 2023

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BY elijah "big Dan" Vargas

With the first day of Early Voting on February 14, 2022 and extending through February 25, 2022, I thought it would be a good idea to let people know that they need to talk with their employer about allowing them to go vote. 

In the State of Texas, Employers must permit their employee's absence from work for the purpose of voting, and pay them for that time. 

This right to be absent from work to vote extends throughout the Early Voting period as well as on Election Day (March 1, 2022).

The only exception is if the employee has two hours outside of their work schedule to go vote while the polls are still open.  Unless the employee already has two consecutive nonworking hours while the polls are open, your employer must allow you to go vote and be paid for that time.

Although the statute doesn’t not specify the length of time or designate the hours that you can take to go vote, you must be allowed to take as much time is necessary to vote.  It is always better that there be clear and open communication between employee and employer regarding the absence to vote.   

An Employer's violation of this provision of the Texas Elections Code is a Class C Misdemeanor Criminal Offense.

If your employer retaliates against you for exercising your right to vote, by either docking your pay, terminating your employment or any other detrimental act, you may have a case of wrongful termination for retaliation.

This law can be found in the Texas Elections Code Chapter 276.