- Old Navy will pay store employees for an eight-hour day if they work at polling stations on Election Day in November, it announced Sept. 1. The payment will be on top of whatever a participating employee would earn from their local jurisdiction for the day.
- "The brand is tapping into its vast service-minded associate base, with 50,000 field employees in more than 1,000 store locations in the U.S.," the company’s statement said, "encouraging them to apply to serve in their communities, and giving them the means to do so."
- Old Navy has partnered with Power the Polls, a nonprofit advocacy group, and Civic Alliance, a "nonpartisan business coalition" promoting participation in democracy, to participate in a national effort to hire 250,000 new poll workers.
Many states guarantee workers some form of time off to vote, though it is mostly unpaid. This year, the election may look much different, as safety protocols and other changes in polling stations may complicate an individual’s ability to participate.
Some companies have announced time off for Election Day. Even before the pandemic, this was an option some offered as part of social responsibility efforts. It became a more popular option after the events of this year forced organizations to reconsider their approaches to equity and fairness. Old Navy’s decision to pay its employees to work in polling centers takes the concept of Election Day PTO a step further. Luxury retailer Tory Burch has also followed suit with a similar offer for employees.
Some are offering other benefits as well, such as support in voter registration, to encourage employees to engage in their civic duties.
"We believe all of our employees should have the full opportunity to use their voice without having to make a choice between getting a paycheck and casting a vote," Linda Kozlowski, CEO of BlueApron, said when the company announced PTO for Election Day. "These efforts are designed to do our part to remove barriers to voting and to ensure our employees have every opportunity to make their voices heard."
In addition to giving paid time off for Election Day, Levi Strauss & Co., one of the founding members of the Time to Vote initiative, also offers employees "five hours of paid time off per month to volunteer for campaigns, canvassing or other voter engagement efforts, as we did for the midterms in 2018," Tracy Layney, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, previously told HR Dive.