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'It'll Be A Substantial Loss': Companies Offering Employees Paid Time Off For Election Day Despite Big Costs

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A growing number of companies are offering employees paid time off this Election Day. Some organizations are giving workers Election Day off to encourage people to vote, even despite big costs.

"It'll be a substantial loss," said Asher Raphael, co-CEO of Power Home Remodeling.

Power Home Remodeling, which is headquartered in Chester, Delaware County, is giving its 2,700 employees a paid day off on Nov. 3 for Election Day, at a cost of around $3.5 million.

"But that's the short-term pain," Raphael said. "The long-term vision is the way that your employees feel about the organization and that your values align with theirs."

Power Home Remodeling is not alone. Uber, Coca-Cola and Twitter are also giving employees Election Day off to vote.

So are smaller companies, like Allen and Gerritsen, a Center City-based advertising agency. The cost of the paid day off is in the six-figures.

"For us, it's about making sure our employees have the ability to vote and, additionally, allowing them to volunteer their time to make sure other people in their community can vote," said Monica Lorussa, with Allen and Gerritsen.

In the last presidential race in 2016, just 56% of eligible voters cast a ballot in the presidential election, a figure much less than most developed countries, according to the Pew Research Center.

"This year is a year that brings this issue into focus and maybe will provide a more robust discussion about having a federal holiday for elections," said LaSalle University business law associate professor Carolyn Plump.

"It's something should exist with the whole country, it's something the federal government should do," Raphael said.

Meantime, the University of Pennsylvania is now offering employees time off if they serve as an election worker because of the shortage the city is facing.

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