EDITOR’S NOTE: (updated Oct. 27, 2020) This year in response to COVID-19, staff employees scheduled to work during poll hours on Election Day may be provided up to two hours of time off for voting. Time off for Election Day voting is applicable regardless of scheduled work hours or shift. If more than two hours are needed on Election Day, supervisors are encouraged to allow employees to use flex time or time-off accruals. This time off does not apply to early voting. Employees participating in early voting are to use flex time or time-off accruals.
All Indiana University faculty and staff are encouraged to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3. However, it’s important to be aware of university policies regarding political activity using IU resources and paid time off to vote.
Paid time off for voting
Voting polls in each precinct across the state are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. Staff employees whose work schedules prevent them from voting between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. may be allowed time off with pay to vote, up to a maximum of two hours. Examples:
A staff employee with a work schedule of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. has between 6 and 8 a.m. to vote before reporting for work. Therefore, this staff employee would not receive any time off with pay to vote.
A staff employee with a work schedule of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. has only 1.5 hours to vote either before or after work. Therefore, this staff employee would receive, if needed, one half hour of time off with pay to vote.
This time off does not have to be made up or charged to vacation time or any other previously earned time off for staff employees.
“Anecdotally, I would say that the most common mistake that faculty and staff employees inadvertently make is using their IU email or social media accounts to promote a candidate or to invite others to fundraising or other campaign events,” said Kip Drew, the university’s chief policy officer.
As a state-supported public university with tax-exempt status under section 501(a), IU may not participate or intervene in any political campaign and must prevent its resources from being used in any way that could appear to support a political campaign.
“It is important to note that these guidelines are in no way intended to preclude, limit or discourage political activity or advocacy that you might wish to undertake as an individual. You have every right to do so as a citizen, and IU fully supports that right,” said Bill Stephan, the university’s vice president for government relations and economic engagement. “These guidelines are only meant to ensure that private political activity undertaken by members of the IU community does not make use of public university resources in support of that activity.”
Contact Amelia McClure at email@example.com with questions about the guidelines.