With voting “season” fast upon us, employers should be aware of the relevant Colorado statutes governing employee’s entitlements with respect to voting.
Colorado law provides that any employee registered to vote in an election is entitled to be absent from work for the purpose of voting for a period of two hours during the time the polls are open. In order to take advantage of this entitlement, employees must apply for the time off prior to the day of the election. The only exception to this entitlement is when an employee’s hours of employment on the day of the election are such that there are three or more hours between the time of opening and the time of closing of the polls during which the elector is not required to be at work. In that case, the employee is not entitled to take two hours off to vote.
Employers cannot discharge any employee who takes these two hours off to vote, and the time off must be with pay and without penalty.
Employers may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent, but the hours must be at the beginning or end of the work shift if the employee so requests.