Workers must get time to vote, AG says

TOPEKA – Workers may take two hours out of their day to vote on Election Day, Attorney General Steve Six reminded employers on Thursday.

The business can specify the time, but cannot make the worker vote over their lunch hour, his release said.

β€œIt is important that employers make sure their employees have the opportunity to participate in the democratic process,” Six said.

Below is the full law:

K.S.A. 25-418. Leave allowance for employees to vote; obstruction of voting privilege, penalty

Any person entitled to vote at an election conducted by a county election officer in this state shall, on the day of such election, be entitled to absent himself from any service or employment in which he is then engaged or employed for a period of not to exceed two (2) consecutive hours between the time of opening and closing of polls: Provided, That if the polls are open before commencing work or after terminating work but the period of time the polls are so open is less than two (2) consecutive hours, he shall only be entitled to absent himself from such service or employment for such a period of time which, when added to the period of time the polls are so open, will not exceed two hours; and such voter shall not because of so absenting himself be liable to any penalty, nor shall deductions be made, on account of such absence, from his usual salary or wages.

The employer may specify the particular time during the day which said employee may absent himself as aforesaid except such specified time shall not include any time during the regular lunch period.

Obstruction of voting privilege is (a) intentionally obstructing an employee in his or her exercise of voting privilege or (b) imposing a penalty upon an employee exercising his or her voting privilege under this section.