Private sector employees are not entitled to paid time off to vote, but an Atlanta staffing firm is trying to set a new standard.
"I hope other employers will notice what we're doing," said Frank Green, President of Atlanta-based ExecuSource. "We're a small company, and if we can afford it, I think other employers should look into it as well."
Green has committed to compensate more than 100 contract employees if they take time away from work to vote.
"It's going to be very helpful," said ExecuSource contractor Joe Kendall.
Kendall said he struggled to get the polls in the past working for other companies.
"You had to think about whether you were going to be late for work," Kendall said. "As an hourly employee, I had to wonder whether I was going to be compensated."
This election year, voting will not require a financial sacrifice for ExecuSource contractors.
"I'll always find a way," said contractor Samuel Hardeman. "This time it just allows me to do it and get paid for it."
ExecuSource places its contract employees with client companies, so those outside companies were brought in on the plan and agreed to give the employees time off.
"They'll go out. They'll vote, and we will pay them," Green explained. "We won't bill our clients. That's the catch, if you will. It's free to our clients to allow our employees to vote. It's that important."
Georgia law requires workers to give reasonable notice to their employers if they plan to take up to two hours off to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election.
The law does not apply to you if the polls are open two hours before of after your regular working shift.
Georgia law does not require voting leave to be paid.
State workers do get paid, however. A rule issued by the State Personnel Board provides for paid time off to vote.