What to Do About Election Day: An Employer's Guide

calendar September 4, 2018

Election Day is right around the corner, so California employers need to be aware of their obligations toward their employees. California state law requires employers to provide employees time off to vote. Here is what you need to know:

Taking Time Off to Vote:
California Election Code section 14000 states:

  1. Employee must be allowed to take up to two hours of time off to vote without a loss of pay, provided they do not have sufficient time outside of their normal working hours to vote. Realistically, any employee who commutes to a full-time job should be allowed to take at least one hour off to vote.
  2. Generally, the extra time must be used by the employee at the beginning or end of their regular shift. An employee who requests extra time should discuss when to take their time off so as to allow the most free time for the employee to vote and the least disruption of the regular working shift. That said, the employer and employee can agree to extend a meal break during the middle of the day to allow for voting, if that happens to work best for both parties.
  3. Employees must provide at least two days' prior notice to his or her employer of the need for time off.

Employer Posting Requirements:
California Election Code section 14001 requires California employers to post voting leave requirements in a clearly visible place for employees to view at least 10 days before every statewide election. That is Saturday October 27, 2018. The notice can be downloaded and printed for free from the California Secretary of State website by clicking here.

Employees Serving as Election Officials:
Employees who serve as election officials must be provided the full day to serve, but employers are not required to pay them for the time away. California Election Code section 12312 states that employees may serve as election officials on Election Day without being disciplined because of his or her absence.

Keep these rules in mind as Election Day -Tuesday, November 6th - draws near.