Leaves taken to Vote

Much like a California citizen's right and obligation to take leave for the purposes of participating in a jury, California citizens also have the right to vote in any statewide government election. This right to vote is paramount to our country's very system of governance, as without it, our government would not be composed by the voice of the people and would not be run by peers elected by the people. Employees, therefore, must be permitted to vote in statewide government elections each time they choose to do so.

Of course, most of the time, people will be able to find sufficient time to vote outside of their workday. However, certain people may find themselves unable to afford time to make the trip to a voting location. Perhaps these people are working exceptionally long shifts on voting day, or perhaps some force outside of their control prohibits them from traveling to a voting location during their leisure time.

In these situations, if the employer refuses to allow the employee leave in order to exercise her right to vote, then the employer has violated that right and in effect interfered with the American voting process. Thankfully, the employee in that situation is protected by the California Election Code.

The California Election Code §14000 requires employers to honor the needs of employees to take time off in order to vote in the event that there is insufficient time to vote outside of work hours. In particular, it provides:

  • If an employee 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."
  • An employee cannot take more than two hours of leave for voting without loss of pay. The time "off for voting shall be only at the beginning or end of the regular working shift."
  • 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 shall give the employer at least two working days' notice that time off for voting is" needed. Cal. Election Code § 14000.

Due to this statute, the employee is not only allowed to request or take a leave in order to vote when she does not have sufficient time outside of work to do so, but she may also exercise her right to vote without fear of retaliation, repercussion, or discrimination from her employer.

Contact Us

If you have not been granted a leave in order to fulfill your constitutional right to vote, or if you have experienced negative treatment or termination from having taken a leave at your workplace in order to vote, contact the experienced vote leave attorneys at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. 323-857-5900. Please ask about our free initial consultation.