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Symetra Gives Employees Paid Time Off to Vote

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Symetra Life Insurance Company says it will give employees paid time off to vote Nov. 3.

The Bellevue, Washington-based insurance is a U.S. arm of Sumitomo Life. It has about 2,000 employees.

(Related: Symetra to Make 2 Women Sports Stars Its Spokescouple for the COVID-19 Age)

Company employees can get up to one full workday off for voting-related activities, Symetra says.

Symetra classifies voter registration, managing absentee ballots and helping family members vote as voting-related activities.

Symetra is also giving $15,000 donation to When We All Vote, an organization that promotes voting.

Margaret Meister, Symetra’s chief executive officer, said in a statement about the new policy that voting is an important responsibility.

“Symetra is encouraging our employees to make their voices heard by exercising their right to vote, and proud to support them with the time they need to cast their ballot,” Meister said. “Voting is a very important way to bring our country together, to ensure a healthy democracy, and for our collective voices to be heard.”

Washington state requires an employer to give employees two hours to vote, if the employer has set the workers’ work schedule in a way that does not give the workers time to ask for absentee ballots, according to an analysis prepared by Dorsey. An employer must pay an eligible worker for that voting time if the worker’s schedules do does not provide a reasonable amount of free time for voting.

An employer organization, Time to Vote, is formally encouraging employers to provide paid time off for voting. The list of insurance organizations on Time to Vote’s member list includes  American Family Insurance, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Equitable, New York Life, Prudential Financial, TIAA, TriNet Group, Unum and Zenefits.

— Read Joe Biden Owns a Security Benefit Variable Annuityon ThinkAdvisor.

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