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Vote! (And make sure your employees can too!)

Did you vote today? The #VUHRD faculty, staff, and students made sure to get out to vote today. While we don't all fall on the same side of the political spectrum, we all respect each other's vote and know that voting is an important civil liberty. I hope that everyone makes the time to vote today.

More than your own vote, as HR professionals, it is important that we consider whether our organization provides the right support and benefits for all our employees to be able to vote. Federal law does not require that employees be given time off to vote, but many state and local ordinances mandate voting leave time. But consider this, if you are an hourly employee living paycheck to paycheck, even if your organization gives you time off to go vote during polling hours, if you are required to clock out during the time you leave work to vote, what are you sacrificing to vote? An hour or two of pay for some employees might be too much a cost to get out and vote. But if your organization took the time to make sure every employee had paid time off to get out and vote, consider the benefits.

In a article earlier this week, former Villanova HRD Assistant Professor and current George Washington University Assistant Professor, Katina Sawyer, Ph.D., said that, "Giving employees time off to participate in civic or community activities tends to improve worker performance. Employers who are offering paid time off to vote will likely reap the benefits through improved employee attitudes and performance." More than 350 companies voluntarily pledged to give paid time off to their employees on Election Day this year. Is your organization on this list? If not, what are you doing to ensure the employees in your organization are able to vote?


Bethany J. Adams, MA, SHRM-SCP is an Associate Director in the Graduate HRD Program at Villanova University. Learn more about her here!

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