vote

By Ed Hardin and Brian Carnie

Record breaking voter turn out is expected on Tuesday.   Employers should be aware that neither federal nor Louisiana law requires an employer to give an employee time off to vote, but Louisiana law does forbid employers from discriminating against an employee based on his or her political beliefs.  It also prohibits all employers from attempting to control the votes of their employees.

Louisiana employers with 20 or more employees cannot  prevent their employees from “participating in politics.”  Thus, employers should treat requests for time off to vote the same as other requests for time off. With respect to exempt employees who are granted a couple of hours off to vote during the day, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act does not allow employers to dock their salary for such partial day absences even if they have exhausted their accrued available vacation or other paid time off.