Time Off for Voting – by HR Watchdog
- On 18 October 2022
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
Time Off for Voting – Employers’ Election Obligations
All employers, regardless of size, must display a poster describing voting leave requirements at least 10 days before every statewide election. Additionally, employees who lack sufficient time to vote outside of working hours may legally take up to two hours of paid time to vote in a statewide election. It’s difficult for employees to justify a lack of time to vote – since county election officials mail vote-by-mail ballots to all active registered voters and any registered voter may vote using a vote-by-mail ballot instead of going to the polls on Election Day.
California’s Voter’s Choice Act allows voters in 27 counties to vote at any voting center in a participating county starting 10 days before the election, making it even more difficult for employees who vote in these counties to make the case they need to take time off to vote. Keep in mind that it is the county where your employee is registered to vote that determines whether the Voters Choice Act applies, rather than the county where they work.
Under California law, if an employee does need time off to vote, the
- Employee must notify the employer at least two working days in advance to arrange a voting time; and;
- Time must be taken at the beginning or at the end of the shift, whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time off from working, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon.
Finally, you can remind employees that the last day to register to vote is October 24, 2022.
Blog by Katie Culliton, HR Watchdog