Paid Time Off to Vote in California

If you are scheduled to work during polling times on Election Day, California law allows you to take up to 2 hours off to vote, without losing any pay.  Employers must also post a Notice alerting employees about this right at least 10 days before the election.  Check out the notice by clicking http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/time-vote-notices/ (the Notice is available in multiple languages).

California law provides that an employee is entitled to an amount of Election Day leave that will enable the employee to vote. The employee may be excluded from taking such leave if she already has sufficient nonworking time to vote. (California Elec. Code ยง 14000). 

  • Employees can take off as much unpaid time as they legitimately need to vote, but only 2 hours of that time will be paid.
  • The employee must let the employer know they want to take this leave at least two (2) working days before the election, if the employee knew at least three (3) days prior to the election that he or she will need time off in order to vote.
  • Time off must be taken at the beginning or end of the work shift, whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time off from work, unless otherwise agreed by the employee and employer.

Many employees covered by a Union collective bargaining agreement have provisions in their agreement providing time off for voting.  If you are a Union member and have questions regarding your rights, contact your shop steward or representative.

For questions regarding California time off laws on Election Day, please contact your labor law counsel.

If you were not able to request paid time off to vote two days in advance of Election Day this year, mark your calendar for the next election!

By Lisl Soto and Xochitl Lopez | November 8, 2016

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