Election day is here! On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, employees across the nation will report to their local polling places to cast their votes.
So, what are California employers required to do?
Pursuant to California Elections Code section 14001, employers are required to post a notice to employees advising them of provisions for taking paid leave for the purpose of voting in statewide elections. The notice can be found here. The notice is also available in Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalong, Thai, and Vietnamese on the Secretary of State Website. The notice should be posted at the place of work, or elsewhere where it can be seen as employees come or go to their place of work not less than 10 days before every statewide election.
Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., allowing many employees adequate time to vote during nonwork hours. However, if an employee does not have sufficient time during nonwork hours to vote, the employee shall be provided enough working time off that will enable the employee to vote (taking into account the voting time available during nonwork hours). Up to two hours of working time may be taken without loss of pay. Employers may not require the use of PTO or paid vacation. Unless an employer agrees otherwise, the time an employee takes off to vote should be at the beginning or end of the regular working shift, whichever gives the employee the most time to vote and the least time away from work. Where an employee knows or has reason to believe that they will need work time off to vote, the employee must notify their employer at least two working days in advance.
Note that the following counties have chosen to participate in the Voter’s Choice Act, which allows for voting to be done by mail or at a drop-off box up to four weeks before an election: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Merced, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo. Employees who reside in these counties should have ample time to vote outside of work hours should they choose to vote by mail or at a drop-off box. However, should an employee instead wish to vote by going to a polling place on election day, they must be provided adequate time to do so.