What to Know About Wisconsin Employee Rights to Time Off of Work to Vote
Wisconsin employees who are eligible to vote are entitled to up three hours off of work so that they may vote. Employers may not penalize or discipline employees who exercise this right.
Wisconsin Employees Entitled To Up To Three Hours Off Of Work To VoteUnder Wisconsin Statute Section 6.76, Wisconsin employees who are entitled to vote are entitled to be absent from work while polls are open for up to three successive hours without pay for purposes of voting. Company policies or collective bargaining agreements may provide employees with rights greater than this, but every Wisconsin employee who is entitled to vote may avail themselves of the rights provided by Section 6.76.
An Employee's Right To Time Off For Voting Is Not LimitlessAn employee must notify their employer of their intended absence at least one day prior to election day. Practically speaking, the sooner an employee provides notice to their employer the better. Additionally, an employer may designate the time of day for the employee's absence to vote.
Employers May Not Discipline Employees For Exercising This RightOther than a deduction for the time missed, employers may not penalize or discipline employees for exercising this right. Further, employers cannot deny an employee this leave even if it appears that the employee would have sufficient time to vote either before or after their shift. Wisconsin Statute Section 12.07 reiterates Section 6.76's prohibition of employers denying employees of their right to time off to vote or otherwise penalizing employees for exercising that right.
State Employees Subject To Slightly Different RulesWisconsin Administrative Code ER 18.11 provides that state employees who are eligible to vote, but unable to do so during non-working hours, shall be granted time off with pay for a time not to exceed three successive hours so that they may vote. Employees must submit a written request to their appointing authority at least two work days prior to the election day. The request must state the need and the reasonable amount of time necessary to exercise this right. Like Section 6.76, the appointing authority may designate the time of day for the employee's absence to vote. The University of Wisconsin System Operation Policy BN 7 provides for similar voting leave rights.