HR Hot Topic – Employers Voting Obligations for Employees
The general election is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. It is important that employers are aware of their obligations to allow an employee to vote in California.
If an employee does not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote in an official state-sanctioned election, the employee may take enough time off work to vote. This requirement applies to all employers, regardless of size.
Such time off shall be taken at the beginning or the end of the regular working shift, whichever allows for more free time, and the time taken off shall be combined with the voting time available outside of working hours to a maximum of two hours combined.
Under these circumstances, an employee will be allowed a maximum of two hours of time off during an election day without loss of pay. In the unlikely event that the employee needs more than two hours of working time in order to vote, you can agree to more time, but the additional time would be unpaid.
Since California voters should have already received their vote-by-mail ballot and may mail or drop-off their ballot between now and November 3, it’s unlikely that employers will need to allow voting leave on November 3- but if they do get a request, it’s important that they understand their obligations.
Please note that voting obligations may vary by state.
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