Time off Work to Vote
Everyone has the right to vote. In California, voter’s rights are protected by the California Elections Code § 14000. According to § 14000, employees can take reasonable time off to vote without any consequences such as: loss of pay.
The Elections Code states that: “The voter may, without loss of pay, take off enough working time that, when added to the voting time available outside of working hours, will enable the voter to vote. No more than two hours of the time taken off for voting shall be without loss of pay,” and that, “time off for voting shall be only at the beginning or end of the regular working shift, whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time off from the regular working shift, unless otherwise mutually agreed.”
Furthermore, if a worker knows, or believes, on the third working day prior to the election, that time off will be necessary to be able to vote on election day, this code states that, “the employee shall give the employer at least two working days’ notice that time off for voting is desired…”
If you feel like you will not have reasonable time to vote outside your working hours, notify your employer in writing at least three days prior to election day. You can work out with your employer what time off during the day makes most sense to take off.
Employers are required to post a notice of California Elections Code § 14000 at least 10 days before any statewide election. This makes employers aware of their rights. The notice should be posted in a place where employees can see easily.
If an employer retaliates against you for taking time off work to vote, it is considered unlawful. An employer who terminates an employee for exercising their right to vote violates public policy. Wrongful termination lawsuits can provide recovery for economic damages and mental health issues. If the denial was a decision made by a specific person, punitive damages could come into play.