Employment Law Report
Kentucky Law on Time Off to Vote
With election day fast approaching, employers would be well-served to take a moment and review Kentucky law regarding employees’ voting rights. Under Kentucky law, and more specifically KRS § 118.035, employers are required to allow their employees “a reasonable time, but not less than four (4) hours” to cast his/her vote on election day. The statute does require an employee seeking leave to cast a ballot to provide his/her employer with advance notice of at least one (1) day. For non-state employees, the time off shall constitute unpaid leave, while state employees are compensated on “an hour-for-hour basis” while the “polls are open.” See 101 KAR 2:102(7). The employer may decide when the hours are taken during the day. Moreover, proof of voting may be required, because any employee who exercises his/her right to vote under this statute but fails to cast a vote “may be subject to disciplinary action.” Finally, and most importantly, an employer is prohibited from denying an employee these voting privileges, and prohibited from discharging or threatening to discharge an employee or subjecting him/her to a penalty due to the exercise of these privileges.