The Edmond Sun

Local News

November 4, 2012

State law gives time off for voting

OKLA. CITY — With the national, state and local election set for Tuesday, many area employers need to know their responsibilities and rights regarding time off for employees to vote, and political statements in the workplace.  

Q. What must employers provide as time off for employees to vote?

A.
Employers are required by Oklahoma law to give employees who are registered to vote up to two hours off work in order to vote.

Q. Are there exceptions to this based on the start or end time of the employee’s shift?

A.
Yes. If an employee’s shift begins three hours after the polls open, or if the shift ends three hours before the polls close, then the employee is not entitled to time off from work to vote. Since the polls in Oklahoma are open from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m., employees whose shift starts at 10 a.m. or later, or whose shift ends at 4 p.m. or earlier are not entitled to time off from work to vote.  

Q. What process does the employee need to go through to request time off to vote?

A.
The day prior to the election, this Monday, the employee has to notify the employer that he or she will need time off work in order to vote. A formal notice is not required.  A spoken statement or email by the employee that he or she will need time off to vote suffices under the law.

Q. How may employers make sure that too many employees are not gone at a given time to vote?

A.
Once informed that an employee intends to vote, the employer is allowed to designate the two hours of time off for the employee to vote. The employer needs to add any additional time to travel to and from the polling place to vote. So, the employer will want to have employees located the furthest from the workplace to vote early or late in order to avoid staffing problems during the workday. Also, the shift start time may be changed to 10 a.m. or the shift end time may be changed to 4 p.m. in order to comply with the voting law.

Q. Is this paid time off, or unpaid time off?

A.
The time off work to vote is to be paid time off. If the employer chooses, it can require the employee to provide some type of proof that he or she voted. The Election Board representatives at the polling place can provide the employee with a sticker or something to show that the employee voted. However, this needs to be consistently enforced, and if proof of voting is required of any employees it needs to be required of all employees. Most employers will just take the employee’s word on this.  

Q. Are employees entitled to voice their political beliefs or comments in the workplace?

A.
Yes. As long as the voicing of those views does not cross the line to being harassing, unlawfully discriminatory or cause a disruption in the workplace, then employees are entitled to discuss openly their political views even if those views are not the same as their boss or supervisor.

Q. What about social media? Are employers entitled to regulate what political views an employee makes on social media sites?

A.
No. Employers may not regulate generally what an employee says on social media sites unless such involves a sharing of confidential employer, client or customer information, or is harassing or unlawfully discriminatory. Almost all political statements that employees make on social network sites will not involve statements of this type.  So employers are not entitled to take disciplinary action against employees for stating their personal political views on such sites.

VICTOR F. ALBERT is an employment law attorney for Conner & Winters LLP.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 60.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County pays off jail tax early, seeks new one

    Logan County is paying off a sales tax ahead of schedule and needs a new one to be able to afford funding jail operation and maintenance, officials said.
    Citizens vote on the county sales tax which is split for redistribution by state law. The tax is collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and redistributed back to the county as specified by voters.
    In 2005, citizens passed a 10-year sales tax, scheduled to end next month, to fund the building, operation and maintenance of the county jail, which operates on a $1.3 million budget. Jail capacity is 188 without anyone in a holding cell or a temporary bunk. Thursday it was holding 130 inmates, said Logan County Chief Deputy Richard Stephens.

    July 26, 2014

  • MS_Andy Billups.jpg Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency

    Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
    The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
    And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
    Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • -1.jpg 5-year-old learns valuable lessons

    It is never too soon to learn about giving and receiving. An Edmond 5-year-old recently learned about both.
    Kendall Kingry will be entering kindergarten at Will Rogers Elementary this fall and she is already looking forward to November.
    “I get to go to Disneyland in November,” Kendall said.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results