It’s almost Election Day, and you own a business in Massachusetts. You know you’ll have time to cast your vote before the polls close at 8:00 p.m. But what about your employees? If an employee wants or needs to vote during the work day, what are his or her rights?

Here are five things that you, as the employer, should know:

  1. There is no federal law that requires you to give your employees time off to vote. Massachusetts law, on the other hand, does give employees certain rights regarding voting during the work day, but only if you are in the manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile industry.
  2. Massachusetts law requires an employer to allow an employee to vote between 7:00 a.m. and
    9:00 a.m.— the first two hours that the polls are open.
  3. You are not required to pay the employee for the period of her or his absence.
  4. The employee is required to give you advance notice of his or her intention to take time off, but there are no specifics in the statute regarding the timing of when such notice must be given.
  5. The employee is not required to give you proof of any kind that she or he voted.

Your lawyers at Mountain, Dearborn & Whiting LLP wish you a great Election Day on November 6! If you have other inquiries related to employment law, please contact me at or (508) 459-7272.