Employers’ Election Day Responsibilities
The 2020 California Primary Election is Tuesday, March 3; polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Employers need to be aware of their voting leave obligations, which start prior to election day, and the correct way to share political company views with their employees.
As reported yesterday, employees may take time off to vote in the election (although California’s new Voter’s Choice Act may make it extremely difficult for employees to justify that they do not have time outside of working hours to cast a ballot). You also cannot discipline an employee who serves as an election official for their absence, but you’re not required to pay these employees for the time off.
Additionally, all employers, regardless of size, must display a poster describing voting leave requirements at least 10 days before every statewide election.
CalChamber’s convenient all-in-one California and Federal Employment Notices Poster contains all required California and federal notices, including the Time Off to Vote notice.
Finally, employers are within their rights to communicate with employees about issues, regulations, legislation or ballot measures that will have an impact on the workplace, jobs, the economy and the employees themselves.
But employers may not take certain actions, such as no paycheck stuffers, no coercion and no rewarding or punishing employees (or threatening to do so) for their political activities or beliefs.
CalChamber prepared this brochure to provide more guidelines for employers on political communications to employees. Note the distinction between internal communications (to employees, stockholders and their families) and communications to external audiences (such as non-stockholder retirees, outside vendors, customers or passersby).
Mike McCluskey, Senior Technical Editor, CalChamber