Time Off to Vote: Mandatory Notice / Posting
As you know, the general election is on Tuesday, November 3rd! Not less than ten (10) 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.
Because so many employees are working from home, employers might also consider emailing the notice or posting it on their intranet or internal computer network.
Voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Employees may 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 at this link: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/time-vote-notices/
These requirements are found in California Election Code sections 14000-14004; these sections may be found here:
Time Off to Vote: New Laws
The California statutes requiring employers to give employees time off to vote changed this year. Effective January 1, 2020, a bill signed by the governor last year (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 a vote by mail ballot at work (Cal. Elections Code § 14004).
The law now also states that it “does not prohibit an employer from encouraging an employee to vote.” A.B. 17 applies to both public and private employers and their employees. The bill makes a violation of the new prohibition subject to a civil fine of up to $10,000 per election (Cal. Elections Code § 18503).
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