Carnegie Mellon University

October 06, 2020

Volunteering on Election Day

Please note that some of the language below has been revised for clarity following the email to eligible faculty and staff sent on October 1, 2020. Your HR business partner can assist with any questions or concerns you may have. 

As referenced within the September 22, 2020 email from President Jahanian, CMU is committed to supporting voting and civic engagement in the upcoming election cycle. Supervisors have been asked to be flexible with work schedules on Election Day to ensure all members of the CMU community can take the time they need to vote. For those planning to vote in person, employees are encouraged to work with their supervisors for early dismissal or late arrival.

For those wishing to volunteer at the polls in service of the community at large, CMU will recognize time spent volunteering during Election Day as time worked and paid. These guidelines detail the process for staff members, students working as research assistants, and teaching assistants who wish to volunteer during Election Day on November 3, 2020.


  • Approved exempt and non-exempt staff positions as well as students working as research and teaching assistants will be eligible to receive pay for time spent volunteering.
  • Union staff should refer to their collective bargaining agreement and discuss with a local representative.


  • Eligible employees should discuss their desire to volunteer on Election Day with their direct supervisor. Employees should indicate how many hours they would like to volunteer and how the employee’s regular work will be managed during the volunteer time.
  • For SEI or other departments with federal contracts: Individuals who charge their time to federal contracts should work directly with their supervisors about how to charge for this time.
    If approved, the employee is authorized to volunteer during regular work hours and receive pay during time spent volunteering outside of their primary work responsibilities.
  • Exempt employees will not need to complete any additional documentation following approval.
  • Non-exempt employees will include approved time spent volunteering as time worked on their Workday timecards, as they normally would. Please review the Time Tracking for Employees Quick Guide [pdf] for instructions on how to enter time in Workday.
Please contact your HR business partner with questions related to Election Day volunteer processes and policies.