Georgia law requires employers to give employees who have given reasonable notice of their need for time off to vote, up to two hours off, to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal election for which the employee is registered and qualified. O.C.G.A. § 21-2-404. But if the employee’s normal work hours start two hours after the polls open, or end two hours before the polls close, then the employee may not receive time off to vote. So if the polls close at 8:00 p.m. and your work hours end at 6:00 p.m., then you can’t receive any time off to vote. Likewise, if the polls open at 8:00 a.m. and you are not required to be at work until 10:00 a.m., then your employer does not have to provide you with any further time off to vote.
Your employer may also specify the particular hours that you can be absent to vote. So if your shift normally ends at 5:00 p.m. and your employer says you can leave work at 3:00 p.m. to vote, you must use that window to vote. In those circumstances, you cannot take off two hours in the morning to vote.
If your employer takes any adverse employment action against you because you took time off to vote, then you should consult a Georgia employment lawyer like Rob to protect your voting rights.