October 28, 2014

You and Your Employees Should Vote Next Week

By Paul Bieber

You don’t have to.

Big Brother is not looking over your shoulder.

But you should vote.

It is the most basic right of our country. Everyone over the age of 18 gets a say in what our future should be and who will be setting that agenda, whether in a town council, or the Governor of a state, or a U.S. Senator. As an employer, do you encourage your employees to vote? HUH? How do I do that, you ask. You do it by setting work shifts on election day so that people may get home early enough to vote. You allow people to come in an hour late, or take an extra two hours at lunch, or leave early.  You do it by not throwing roadblocks in their way. No last minute work on election day. No company meetings at 4 p.m. holding everyone back.

In most states, you are required to give employees time off to vote, whether early in the day, or at the end of a shift.  In many of these states, you pay up to two hours of straight-time pay on election day for employees to take time off to vote. A non-partial web site is: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/taking-time-off-voting-jury-29708.html.  Look here for your state, and learn the rules. No politics here, just basic legal information.

Don’t try to influence your employees’ votes with comments on a candidate. There may be a candidate that will be better for your business, so then you vote for that candidate. But it is just plain wrong to influence your employees. Also, help your crew members who may not understand the rules on voter ID.  Make sure they have their driver’s license or some other sort of photo ID with them.

Without exception, when I walk out of the voting booth, I feel great. My vote makes a difference. Let your employees have this same feeling. It doesn’t matter if you are for one party or another. Vote, and you have the right to challenge policies of government. If you don’t vote, in my opinion, you haven’t earned the right to put your two cents in.