Q: Can I Leave Work to Go Vote?
By Lee Nichols,
8:37AM, Tue. Nov. 7, 2006
A: Maybe. If the polls are open either two hours before your work starts, or two hours after quitting time, then your employer is not obligated to let you leave work to vote. Otherwise, yes, the boss must give you time off to go vote. Here is what the Texas Election Code says:
Sec. 276.004. UNLAWFULLY PROHIBITING EMPLOYEE FROM VOTING.
(a) A person commits an offense if, with respect to another person over whom the person has authority in the scope of employment, the person knowingly:
(1) refuses to permit the other person to be absent from work on election day for the purpose of attending the polls to vote; or
(2) subjects or threatens to subject the other person to a penalty for attending the polls on election day to vote.
(b) It is an exception to the application of this section that the person's conduct occurs in connection with an election in which the polls are open on election day for voting for two consecutive hours outside of the voter's working hours.
(c) In this section, "penalty" means a loss or reduction of wages or another benefit of employment.
(d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.