REMINDER: TIME OFF TO VOTE IN NEVADA
As Election Day approaches every two years the questions regarding employees taking time off to vote on Election Day begin to surface. This year is no different. Since we are two weeks away from Election Day and forecasts are predicting record voter turnout for the 2020 General Election, this is a good time to review Nevada’s requirements for taking time off to vote.
While there is no federal requirement that employees receive time off to vote, Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 293.463 provides that employers must provide employees with sufficient time off to vote if it is impractical for the employee to vote before or after work. With the availability of mail-in voting this year and the growing popularity of early voting, these requirements may seem obsolete. However, neither early voting nor mail-in voting affect an employer’s obligation to provide time off to vote on Election Day.
So, what is sufficient time off to vote? This is very clearly defined in Nevada law. Sufficient time off to vote is determined as follows:
- One (1) hour if the distance between the place of employment and the employee’s polling place is 2 miles or less
- Two (2) hours if the distance between the place of employment and the employee’s polling place is more than 2 miles, but not more than 10 miles
- Three (3) hours if the distance between the place of employment and the employee’s polling place is more than 10 miles
This time off is paid. Employers may not deduct from the employee’s pay because an employee exercises their right to vote. Some states require that employees provide proof that they actually voted in order to receive pay. Nevada is not one of them. Employers also cannot discipline, discharge, or otherwise penalize an employee for taking leave to vote.
The law does require that employees provide advanced notice of their intent to take leave to vote. However, there is no designated minimum amount of advanced notice that needs to be provided. The law only requires that the advanced notice be prior to Election Day. Employers should encourage employees to provide as much notice as possible to allow for scheduling this leave as employers are permitted to designate the time an employee can take leave to vote to minimize disruption to the business.
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