As Election Day quickly approaches, California employers are reminded that the state voting leave law allows employees to take time off to vote in a statewide election.

Time Off to Vote

California employers are required to provide time off to their employees to vote. The state voting leave law, California Election Code section 14000, has three main components:

  • If an employee does not have sufficient time outside of his or her normal working hours to vote at a statewide election, then the employee may take time off of up to two hours of working time to vote without a loss of pay.
  • The time off for voting shall only be at the beginning or end of the regular working shift, whichever allows the most free time for the employee to vote and the least time off from the regular working shift, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon between the employer and employee.
  • The employee is required to provide notice to his or her employer of the need for time off to vote at least two working days in advance to arrange for voting time.

Employer Posting Requirements

California Election Code section 14001 requires California employers to post voting leave requirements in a conspicuous place for employees to view at least 10 days before every statewide election.

Employees Serving as Election Officials

Under California Election Code section 12312, employees may serve as election officials on Election Day without being disciplined because of his or her absence. Employers are not required to pay employees for the time they are absent from work to serve as election officials.

California employers should keep these rules in mind as they prepare to field employees’ requests for time off to vote.

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Leaves of Absence/Reasonable Accommodation

Managing leaves and reasonably accommodating employees can be complex, frustrating, and expose employers to legal peril. Employers must navigate a bewildering array of state and federal statutes, with seemingly contradictory mandates.

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