Many people get stressed around elections because they worry that they will be stuck at work and unable to vote. Others worry that they will skip work to vote and lose income they need to stay financially afloat. To try to alleviate this real issue, California allows people to leave work to vote without losing any part of their paycheck.
California Elections Code Section 14000-14003 entitles voters to paid time-off (PTO) on election days if the voter decides they don’t have enough time outside of work hours to cast their ballot. Voters can take up to 2 hours of time off without loss of pay. It is expected that workers will arrange to vote at the start or end of their shift, whichever is most convenient. However, it is possible to take the time off in the middle of a shift if it is necessary.
How Do I Use Paid Voter Time?
Are you scheduled to work during an upcoming election? If you cannot cast a mail-in ballot, then you should notify your employer as soon as possible that you intend to use paid voter time on the next election day. You must provide at least two working days’ notice to your employer unless your supervisor allows next- or same-day notice.
Once notice has been given, you should communicate with your employer how you intend to use your paid voter time. Coordinating if you will be late for a shift, need to leave early, or must interrupt the middle of your work will be appreciated ahead of time.
It is also important to note that paid voter time is separate from any other state-required breaks you regularly earn in a workday. You can take any paid breaks, your usual unpaid lunch, and use paid voter time at the end of your shift, for example.
Who Earns Paid Voter Time?
There are no strict requirements to earn paid voter time under California election law. The goal is to allow everyone a chance to vote, regardless of their employment commitments.
You can use paid voter time if you are employed as or by:
- Private company
- Public or government entity
Have more questions about California employment law and how it might apply to a legal case? Did your employer recently tell you that you cannot use paid voter time? Get the help of Aegis Law Firm in Irvine, Orange County, and Los Angeles. Call our paid voter time attorneys at (800) 543-4829 today!