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Oklahoma law allows workers paid time off to vote

Vic Albert, an employment law attorney with Conner & Winters, speaks about employers being required by Oklahoma law to give employees who are registered to vote time to do so.
by Paula Burkes Published: November 2, 2012
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Q&A with Vic Albert

Employers are required to allow certain employees time to vote

Q: As you know, Tuesday is Election Day. What must employers provide as time off for employees to vote?

A: Employers are required by Oklahoma law to give employees who are registered to vote up to two hours paid time off work in order to vote.

Q: Are there any exceptions?

A: Yes. If an employee's shift begins three hours after the polls open, or if the shift ends three hours before the polls close, then the employee is not entitled to time off to vote. Since the polls in Oklahoma are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., employees whose shifts start at 10 a.m. or later, or whose shifts end at 4 p.m. or earlier are not entitled to time off.

Q: What process does the employee need to go through to request time off to vote?

A: The day before the election, the employee has to notify the employer that he/she needs time off to vote. A spoken statement or email suffices under the law.

Q: Can employers require proof of voting?

A: If they choose they may require the “I voted” sticker or other proof from The Election Board representatives at the polling places. However, if proof of voting is required of any employees, it needs to be required of all employees.

PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER

by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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