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Attorney General Bill Lockyer Reminds Employers And Workers That State Law Allows Time Off To Vote Without Loss Of Pay

Thursday, November 3, 2005
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today reminded employers and workers that state law gives voters the right to take time off work without loss of pay in order to cast their ballot at a statewide election. Although state law requires that polling places remain open from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM on election day, many California workers are unable to meet their work obligations and still find time to exercise their right to vote.

“The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy and a privilege that should not be denied to any Californian,” Lockyer said. “I encourage every registered voter in California to exercise the right to vote and to remember that, by law, work schedules cannot prevent workers from participating in this election.”

Under California law, registered voters have the right to take as much as two hours off work without loss of pay in order to cast a ballot on election day. In order to exercise their rights under state law, employees must meet the following requirements for the November 8 Special Election:

• Working shift prevents employee from being able to vote without missing time at work. Only those workers who do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote are eligible to request and obtain time off in order to vote.

• Two working days notice. Workers who know or have reason to believe that they will need to take time off in order to vote on election day must give their employer at least two working days’ notice prior to November 8 of their request to take time off.

• Two hours maximum. Workers are limited to no more than two hours of time off in order to vote without loss of pay. If an employee has some free time during the day in order to vote, but not enough to do so without missing some amount of their working shift, they are only entitled to that amount of paid time off that will allow them to vote.

• Beginning or end of work shift. Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, employees may only take time off at the beginning or end of their regular working shift, whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time off from work.

See California Elections Code section 14000 for more information.

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