VTO often refers to “volunteer time off”. At Employers for VTO, we believe VTO should include time off for voting too.
One of the top reasons people give for not voting is no time. Long lines are another reason. And employees at all income levels have given these reasons for not voting.
By making a national election a day off, employers remove obstacles to voting. It also encourages employees to vote, an essential “volunteer” effort.
Great Place to Work and Fortune published a list of the 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back. One element they noted in each of these was each of the workplaces empowered employees to direct charitable efforts and get involved. Employees either influenced the direction of company efforts or were given time off to pursue causes close to their own hearts.
The idea behind company sponsored volunteerism is to give back to the community and empower employees. If we extend this practice, then voting should be included as part of VTO. After all, voting is the most direct way employees contribute to their communities in the United States and the world.
Make VTO Include Voting Time Off
In a country where the votes are the essential part of the process, it’s incredible Election Day is not a National Holiday. But since it’s not, employers must take the initiative.
The answer this year is simple. On November 8, 2016, employers should make VTO include Voting Time Off. Close the office for the day. For companies that can't (like retailers in Q4), schedule employees for half days to emphasize the importance of voting as part of their contribution to their communities.
Encourage voting, but without direction. If every company did this, there would be no (good) reasons employees failed to vote. Plus a day off would be a great way to encourage employees to cast a ballot.