REI Co-op Statement on 2022 Election Day Benefit

Nov 4, 2022

At REI we have an 84-year history of supporting civic engagement and encouraging all people to participate in the democratic process.  

This year, we're proud to be closing our stores for two hours on election day and paying employees for this time. This benefit is designed to enable, support, and empower every employee to fully participate in the midterm election, while ensuring scheduling doesn’t get in the way of making time to vote or volunteer. We’re also providing employees with resources that allow them to check their registration status, locate their polling place, and find other ways to engage in our democracy. 

Employees in our SoHo (New York) and Berkeley (California) stores have voted in favor of union representation, and we are actively negotiating with these bargaining units. As we work towards a contract, REI will provide time off to employees in these stores in accordance with federal and state guidelines, which preclude the co-op from implementing changes to the terms and conditions of employment outside of the bargaining process. Our existing flexible scheduling policy ensures that no employee—regardless of their employment type—must choose between participating in the democratic process and work. 

We want our employees to be active members of their communities year-round, not just during election cycles. We provide them with multiple paid days off each year to partake in their favorite outdoor pursuit, community service, advocacy, civic or stewardship project. 

You can read more about how we put purpose before profits in our annual Impact Report, which details our grassroots advocacy program, our commitments to advancing inclusion outside, our ongoing climate and sustainability work, and more. 

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 179 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.