Coca-Cola joins voter education and makes election day a paid holiday

Coca-Cola joins voter education and makes election day a paid holiday

The FINANCIAL -- Election Day – Nov. 3, 2020 – will be a paid holiday for all full-time, U.S.-based employees of The Coca-Cola Company to provide extra time and flexibility to vote, volunteer and support campaigns and elections in local communities. The company announced this decision to employees in late June 2020.

“We believe all Americans should be given the opportunity to have their voices heard on Election Day, and that supporting our employees’ right to vote is fundamental to the strength of our democracy,” said Monica Howard Douglas, general counsel for the company’s North America Operating Unit. “We made this decision as a response to feedback we received from our associates about how we can live up to our company purpose to ‘refresh the world and make a difference’ and help impact important social, political and economic issues in our country. As a U.S.-based company, we believe that corporate citizens, lawmakers and election officials must all play a role in ensuring free and fair elections across the country.”

The Coca-Cola Company also officially is supporting several nonpartisan coalitions and campaigns to encourage Americans to register to vote and cast a ballot on or before Nov. 3. From producing state-by-state voting guides with deadlines and voting procedures for all U.S. system employees, to creating volunteer opportunities on and leading up to Election Day, to developing and distributing voter education resources, the company is committed to making sure everyone is informed about the election process and able to vote. 

Here are a few organizations the company is supporting:

  • The Time to Vote Initiative, a national non-partisan coalition of U.S. companies that have committed to give employees full access to the voting process. More than 700 companies representing more than 6.2 million workers have joined the initiative. Voter turnout in the U.S. is one of the lowest in the developed world. And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and movement for racial equity, stakes for removing barriers to voting are higher than ever. Time to Vote is addressing this challenge by giving employees the time and tools needed to cast their ballots in the 2020 general election. Many participating companies are making Election Day a paid company holiday, and others are offering paid time off and promoting initiatives such as early voting and vote-by-mail.
  • GaVotingWorks, a coalition of Georgia-based companies including AT&T, The Atlanta Hawks, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot, IHG, Mercedes Benz USA, UPS and more. The Coca-Cola Company’s internal agency, KO:OP, developed and produced radio, TV, outdoor and social media creative materials encouraging Georgians to vote early and in person from Oct. 12-30 as part of the GaVotingWorks campaign. The company also donated media space to the nonpartisan organization to amplify its messages.
  • Business for America (BFA)’s Operation Vote Safe, a nonpartisan coalition working with the business community in Georgia and states across the country to ensure the 2020 election is safe, secure and accessible to all.
  • Just Vote campaign to engage 1 million young voters and get 50,000 young people registered ahead of the 2020 elections. Global Citizen and HeadCount are organizing the campaign with support from some of the world’s biggest musical artists.

“We acknowledge there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to voting access for every business,” Howard Douglas said. “The paid Election Day holiday will provide employees with flexibility to vote when it works best for them. We are also encouraging our U.S. bottling partners to provide flexibility to their associates on Election Day."

Author: The FINANCIAL