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Privileges of Voters in California

Provisions of the law apply to all public agencies as well as the private industry

By Chris Micheli, January 25, 2022 6:19 am

The Elections Code in the State of California contains “privileges of voters.” What are these privileges? They are contained in Chapter 1 of Division 14. Section 14000(a) states that, if a voter does not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote at a statewide election, 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.

Section 14000(b) specifies that no more than two hours of the time taken off for voting is to be without loss of pay to the voter. The time off for voting can only be 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 between the voter and employer.

Section 14000(c) provides that, if the employee on the third working day prior to the day of election knows or has reason to believe that time off will be necessary to be able to vote on election day, the employee must give the employer at least two working days’ notice that time off for voting is desired.

Section 14001 specifies that not less than 10 days before every statewide election, every employer is required to keep posted conspicuously at the place of work, if practicable, or elsewhere where it can be seen as employees come or go to their place of work, a notice setting forth the employees’ rights to take time off work to vote.

Section 14002 specifies that these provisions of law apply to all public agencies and the employees thereof, as well as to employers and employees in the private industry. Section 14003 states that, except in time of war or public danger, no voter is obliged to perform militia duty on any election day.

Section 14004 prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting that an employee bring the employee’s vote by mail ballot to work or vote the employee’s vote by mail ballot at work. However, this section of law does not prohibit an employer from encouraging an employee to vote.

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