Lifestyle

Old Navy Will Pay Its Employees To Work At Election Polls In November

An Old Navy employee
Boston Globe/Getty

Old Navy employees who work at their local polls will be eligible for up to eight hours’ pay from the company

With the November election less than 100 days away and the coronavirus still surging in large parts of the U.S., election safety is at the forefront of a lot of peoples’ minds. Poll workers tend to be older folks and retirees, groups who are especially vulnerable to serious illness if they contract the coronavirus. To help keep them safe by encouraging younger, healthier people to work the polls, Old Navy just announced that it will pay any of its employees who serve as poll workers on Election Day.

According to a release from the company, Old Navy employees who serve at the polls are eligible for up to eight hours of their regular pay. That’s in addition to anything they earn for working the polls — some states ask for volunteers, while others offer pay to their poll workers.

“We are constantly inspired by our store teams, with their passion for community work and fostering a sense of belonging both in and outside of our store walls,” company exec Nancy Green said in a press release. “Every voice in this country matters and deserves to be heard at the polls, and if we at Old Navy can be even a small part of making that process more accessible to the communities we call home, we are on board.”

The move is part of a partnership between Old Navy and the Civic Alliance and Power the Polls, two national organizations that encourage voter registration and voter turnout. It’s also the kind of corporate move that we hope catches on. More and more companies are giving their employees paid time off from work to vote, but a move like this inspires even more civic engagement, and you love to see it. In fact, on top of paying employees who volunteer to work the polls, Old Navy is among those companies offering employees paid time off — up to three hours — to cast their own ballot.

The initiative even expands beyond Old Navy’s employees. Customers of the brand can find information at their local stores and when they shop online, showing them how they can volunteer to help work the polls in November, too.

Old Navy is making this move as the nation faces a massive shortage of poll workers for the upcoming election. The Civic Alliance and Power the Polls want to find an additional 250,000 poll workers before November in order to keep voting locations “open and operating efficiently across the country.”