As May 9, 2022 approaches for voting, employees may request that their normal work hours be altered or reduced so that they can alleviate the commute to the polls during the regular workday. To help prepare you for these requests, we want to provide you with the following information on the California voting leave law. State law (California Elections Code section 14001) requires employers to post a notice to their employees advising them of provisions for taking paid leave for the purpose of voting in statewide elections.
Here is a link to a website from the California Secretary of State containing the required notice(s) in 10 different languages. This notice(s) must be posted conspicuously at the place of work, if practicable, or elsewhere where it can be seen as employees come and go to their place of work, not less than 10 days before Election Day on Monday, May 9, 2022.
Requirements and Rights:
- Employees are eligible for paid time off for the purpose of voting only if they do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote. The intent of the law is to provide an opportunity to vote for workers who would not be able to do so because of their jobs.
- Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. each Election Day.
- Employees can be given as much time as they need in order to vote, but only a maximum of two hours is paid.
- You may require employees to give advance notice if they need additional time off for voting.
- You may require time off to be taken only at the beginning or end of the employee’s shift.
Some employees may plan not only to vote on Election Day, but also to volunteer as election judges, precinct officials, and the like. Election workers are required to give you advance notice of their absence. Moreover, you are not required to pay employees for the day off of work for these activities, though you cannot discipline or penalize those employees for missing work on Election Day because of their service as election workers. They may use any accrued, unused paid time off or vacation time for paid leave compensation.