Time Off to Vote: Mandatory Notice

by | Feb 21, 2020 | Employee Benefits

Article Source: Monahan Law Office - The California presidential primary election is on Tuesday, March 3rd.  Not less than ten days prior to the election, all employers (both public and private) must post a notice advising employees of their right to take paid leave to vote if they do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to do so. The notice must be posted conspicuously at the place of work, if practicable, or elsewhere where it can be seen as employees come or go to their place of work.

Voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Employees can be given as much time as they need in order to vote, but only a maximum of two hours is paid. Employers may require time off to be taken only at the beginning or end of the employee’s shift - whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time off from the regular working shift, unless otherwise mutually agreed.

If, three working days before the election, the employee knows or has reason to believe time off to vote will be needed, the employee shall give the employer notice two working days’ before the election.

Sample notices to employers and employees–in English, Spanish, and other languages–are available from the Secretary of State (here).

These requirements are found in California Election Code Section 14000-14004 (here).

Time Off to Vote: New Law

A.B. 17 - Voter Protection Act (Chapter 223):  A.B. 17 was signed by the governor last September.  Effective January 1, 2020, A.B. 17 prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting that an employee bring the employee’s vote by mail ballot to work, or cast their vote by mail ballot at work (Cal. Elections Code § 14004).  The bill also states that it “does not prohibit an employer from encouraging an employee to vote.”  The bill applies to both public and private employers and their employees.  Finally, A.B. 17 makes a violation of the new prohibition subject to a civil fine of up to $10,000 per election (Cal. Elections Code § 18503).

  • February 28, 2020:  ACA Reporting:  An Overview and New Developments, OCAHU Business Development Summit, Orange County Association of Health Underwriters (OCAHU), Orange, CA
  • March 11, 2020:  Legal Update:  Preparing for the New Year, Santa Barbara Association of Health Underwriters (SBAHU), Santa Barbara, CA
  • March 13, 2020:  Legislative Update:  A Review of Essential New Laws and Trends, 2020 Employee Benefits Summit, Employee Benefit Planning Association of Southern California (EBPA), Los Angeles, CA
  • March 19, 2020:  Updated for 2020!  Benefits and Payroll:  Top 10 New Developments and Compliance Traps, Orange County Chapter, American Payroll Association (OCCAPA), Fountain Valley, CA
  • April 15, 2020: Everything You Need to Know about ERISA but Were Afraid to Ask, Coachella Valley Chapter, Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA), Rancho Mirage, CA

Article Source: Monahan Law Office

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