Delaware Vote Tracker

HB 225 – Paid Time Off to Vote

Absent getting Election Day to be declared a Federal and State paid holiday, House Bill 225 may be the next best thing. Sponsored and introduced by State Representative Eric Morrison, this bill creates a requirement that all employers in Delaware offer paid time off to vote.

Currently, Delaware does not have a law that either require or allow companies to give workers time off to vote. The only thing Delaware law addresses regarding employees and elections is stating that employees who have accrued vacation time and are not in a “critical need” position may serve as an election officer without reprisal by the employer. Oh how nice.

House Bill 225 requires private and public employers in the State to give any employee who is scheduled to work at least 8 hours on an election day 2 hours of paid leave in order for the employee to exercise the right to vote. The Act excludes employees working for the federal government as well as any private or public employee who is party to a collective bargaining agreement. Employees must give employers 2 working days’ notice in advance of an election that the employee intends to use paid leave to vote.

Private sector employers who violate the Act will be subject to a civil penalty of a minimum of $500 and maximum of $1,000. A private employer who discriminates against an employee for exercising the rights created by the Act is liable for a civil penalty of $1,000 to $5,000. A public employee is entitle to bring an action for actual damages if the public employer takes an adverse action against the employee for exercising the right to paid leave to vote.

House Bill 225  SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Morrison, Bentz, Wilson-Anton, Baumbach, Kowalko, Lambert, S.Moore
Gay, S.McBride, Pinkney
Current Status — House Administration 6/3/21

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2 comments on “HB 225 – Paid Time Off to Vote

  1. Mitch Crane

    Hate to disagree, but HB 225, requiring employers to offer paid time off to vote, is a much better bill than any that would make election day a federal or state holiday. HB 225 would make it easier for EVERY employee to vote. Just ask yourselves: “is everything closed on holidays?” Holidays are not days off for most people. Those working for hourly wages still work on holidays- supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, retail stores, hospitals, nursing homes, election workers, etc. are open on holidays. Making election day a holiday will not increase turnout (those who want to vote and can make time to, will vote). Allowing people who are at work to take the time, with pay, to vote, will increase turnout of those who find difficulty voting with their time commitments.

    • cassandram

      Agree with this. In Maryland I got two hours paid time off to vote. I rarely took all of it — it let me go to the polls first thing in the AM and be an hour or so late to work with pay. I don’t think that a holiday will help turnout much, but I’m not turning down a holiday if I get one!

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