Monday, November 5, 2018

Time Off for Voting and Third Shift Employees Affected by Falling Back

Time Off for Voting

Between elections many employers forget that employees are entitled to time off to vote. Here are the rules under State law:
1. Employees are entitled to time off only if they are registered voters;
2. Employees requesting time off must do so prior to election day;
3. The employer may specify the time during which employees may take off to vote;
4. Employees are only entitled to time off if their working hours begin less than two hours after the opening of the polls and end less than two hours before the closing of the polls. So only employees who are working more than an eight hour shift during the hours that the polls are open are eligible for time off;
5. Eligible employees are entitled to this time off with pay.
Employers are not only entitled to confirm that the employee requesting time off is actually a registered voter. Further, employers are also entitled to request proof that the requesting employees actually voted.

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Third Shift Employees Affected by Falling Back
Most of our clocks automatically reset in the early hours of Sunday when Daylight Savings Time officially ended, but what about your employees who worked that third shift? Do they have to work an hour longer for the same pay because after all, 11:00 pm to 7:00 am is the shift, regardless of whether that totals seven hours (spring forward) or nine hours (when we fall back). It’s twice a year when we have to adjust payroll for the clock change.

I once had a union actually propose that the morning shift (7:00 to 3:00) be required to come in a half hour early at the end of Daylight Savings Time and leave a half hour early at the start of Daylight Savings Time, thereby “splitting the difference” of the hour swing. Ridiculous.

Even though we don’t have to remember to turn back many clocks, employers do have to remember that third shift employees who normally work a full 40 hour work week actually will earn time and one half on that extra hour that they work yesterday. No way around it. Pay it and remember that most of the rest of us enjoyed the extra hour of sleep.