October 12, 2020

Are You Ready for the 2020 Election?

Everyone is gearing up for the 2020 election. And like everything else in 2020, the election process will be far from normal. While you’re preparing for the return of the polls, be sure to review your city’s voting leave policy, as well as Kentucky law to ensure an understanding of the requirements.

Kentucky provides one of the most generous leave laws for voting in this country. KRS 118.035 states “any person entitled to a vote at any election in this state shall, if he has made application for leave prior to the day he appears before the county clerk to request an application for or to execute an absentee ballot, be entitled to absent himself from any services or employment in which he is then engaged or employed for a reasonable time, but not less than four hours on the day he appears before the clerk to request an application for or to execute an absentee ballot, during normal business hours of the office of the clerk or to cast his ballot on the day of the election between the time of opening and closing the polls. The employer may specify the hours during which an employee may absent himself.”

Follow these steps to ensure that Election Day goes smoothly in your workplace:

  • Read your voting leave policy, as well as the law, and make sure it is applied equally to all employees.
  • Make sure supervisors are aware of how much notice an employee is supposed to give and how much time the employee may take to vote or request and/or execute an absentee ballot.  Also note that those who receive absentee ballots by mail and who submit those ballots by mail, or at drop-off locations, would not necessarily be eligible for this leave. 
  • If the time to vote is unpaid under your policy or requires the use of accrued leave, make sure that is clear to any employees that request it. Kentucky law does not require this time to be paid. 
  • Do not retaliate against an employee who follows the policy; however, make it clear that failure to vote (which can and should be verified) during their voting leave can result in disciplinary action.

For more information on personnel policies or any other personnel-related matters, contact Personnel Services Manager Andrea Shindlebower Main.