Election Day Becomes a Paid Holiday for Some Hollywood Companies

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OWN, AMC and Bad Robot are giving employees Nov. 3 off, as some companies launch voting initiatives and encourage volunteering at polls.

With Election Day looming on Tuesday, Nov. 3, entertainment companies are moving to make it a paid company holiday. It’s currently a civic holiday only in certain states (including New York), while in California employees without sufficient time to vote must be allowed two hours off with pay.

"Exercising your right to vote is essential to being a good citizen," wrote A3 CEO Robert Attermann, president Brian Cho, and chairman Adam Bold in a companywide Aug. 19 email announcing that Election Day would be a holiday. The agency joins Bad Robot, AMC, the Oprah Winfrey Network, Legendary, Chernin Entertainment, Village Roadshow and Untitled Entertainment. Winfrey announced her network’s new holiday on Instagram, stating that "this will give my team the necessary time to put on their masks, get to the polls, cast their ballots and volunteer."

ICM also is encouraging volunteerism. On July 2, the agency announced the holiday as part of a new voter turnout initiative, with CEO Chris Silbermann "encouraging our young and able-bodied workforce to volunteer as election workers."

While UTA is not making Election Day a holiday, it recently launched its UTA Votes campaign. According to an agency spokesperson, employees are encouraged to take as much time as necessary to vote or volunteer, and pay will not be affected.

In addition to making Election Day a holiday, CAA this year launched the Civic Alliance (alongside its "I Am a Voter" movement from 2018). The nonpartisan business coalition helps companies engage employees and consumers in civic life. "The Civic Alliance aims to identify 250,000 new poll workers and elections volunteers to support safe and secure elections,” says Natalie Tran, executive director of the CAA Foundation and co-founder of the Civic Alliance. Recently, the Atlanta Hawks, a member, announced the approval of its State Farm Stadium as a voting location.

To see other businesses that are making Election Day a holiday, visit maketimetovote.org, the website of the nonpartisan business movement Time to Vote. Other participating companies include Twitter, Paramount Network, Participant Media, Pop TV and the Smithsonian Channel.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.