Bloomberg: Marick Masters on CEOs giving employees paid time off to vote in midterms
A record 44 percent of U.S. firms will give workers paid time off to vote Nov. 6, up from 37 percent in 2016, according to reports from the Society for Human Resources Management. Millions of workers could be covered by such policies, and if they facilitate voting among people who otherwise wouldn’t, it could affect the outcome of contested races for the House and Senate -- potentially even determine which party controls both chambers -- as well as governor’s races in numerous states. More than 400 companies have also signed on to efforts with ElectionDay.org and Time to Vote to boost voter turnout in a variety of ways. That doesn’t necessarily mean shutting down or officially giving workers time off. Some firms, like Lyft Inc., are encouraging managers to schedule few if any meetings or are providing on-site voter registration. Business leaders say they can help, and hundreds have come together this election cycle to do so, often as part of broader corporate social responsibility strategies. “This is a more neutral way for them to engage, in that this is non-partisan,” said Marick Masters, Wayne State University professor of business who researches business and labor political action.