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Taking Time Off From Work To Vote In Texas

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Election Day is here!

If you're required to work today or on any other election day, it would be a good idea to learn about what Texas laws exist when it comes to time off from work and voting. While there is no federal law in place that requires an employer to give employees time off to vote, most U.S. states and territories have enacted laws against disciplining or firing somebody for taking time off to perform the civic duty of voting during a general election.

According to FindLaw, employers in Texas must give employees time off to vote without any penalty if polls are not open for two consecutive hours outside the employee's regular shift or work day. The best part is that the time you take off to vote must be paid time off under Texas Election Code ยง 276.004, unlike most other states that don't usually require an employer to pay employees for taking time off to vote.

The "take time off to vote law" applies to any election in Texas, including primary elections, special elections, and general elections. Employers who violate the law by penalizing an employee for visiting the polls to vote on Election Day can be found guilty of a Class C misdemeanor offense. Employees should also contact a Houston employment lawyer if they're penalized or retaliated against for exercising their civic duty to take time off to vote. An employment lawyer can assess your case and determine if you have a legitimate legal claim.

Related Resources:

  • Time Off for Voting and Jury Duty (FindLaw)
  • Find a Houston Employment Lawyer (FindLaw)
  • Voters and Voting Rights (FindLaw)

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