With the election only days away, take this posting as an important reminder to cast your vote (if you didn’t vote early). Before you vote, consider the positions of candidates with respect to small business issues if these issues matter to you (and they should). Are the candidates going to be helpful in supporting legislation favorable to small business and owners?
Use resources to help you decide:
- National Federation of Independent Business’ How Congress Voted shows how members of Congress voted on issues related to small business. Lawmakers who voted with small business 70% or more of the time have been designed by NFIB with a Guardian of Small Business Award.
- Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s Congressional Scorecard for the 112th Congress shows how those in Congress voted on 20 key issues.
Should business owners suggest how employees should vote?
This is an interesting question that’s been raised recently. An Entrepreneur blog post discussed the issue.
While there’s nothing illegal about sharing your political views with your staff, I think making any suggestions about how they should vote is problematic. Just read the comments to the Entrepreneur blog to get a taste of how this action by an owner can be viewed.
There have been some instances recently where business owners have told employees that a particular election result would cause them to have to layoff workers. Is sharing this information with staff an unfair business practice?
My opinion on this: I’d be glad to share my views with anyone who asks and wants to debate the issues, but I wouldn’t go as far as dictating what employees should do with their vote.
Giving employees time off to vote
Whether you have to do so depends on where you’re located. Some states require employers to allow employees to take up to three hours off, with pay in some places or without in others; some states have no mandatory time-off rules. Check FindLaw for the rules in your state (the information here appears to be up to date even though it’s under a 2008 presidential election banner). You can always be more generous in giving time off than the law requires.