California’s 2022 Primary Election is Tuesday, June 7, and while all California active registered voters should have received a vote-by-mail ballot, employers still have related obligations.
First, employees who lack sufficient time to vote outside of working hours may legally take up to two hours of paid time to vote in a statewide election. And although California’s recent Voter Choice Act makes it difficult for employees in participating counties to justify a lack of time — since ballots can be mailed in with prepaid postage and voters can cast a ballot at any voting center within their county — it’s the county where your employee is registered to vote that determines if the Voter’s Choice Act applies rather than the county where they work. Under California law, for an employee to take paid time off to vote in person, the:
- Employee must notify the employer at least two working days in advance to arrange a voting time; and
- Time must be taken at the beginning or end of the shift, whichever allows the most free time for voting and the least time off from working, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon.
Second, all employers, regardless of size, must display a poster describing voting leave requirements at least 10 days before every statewide election. Thankfully, CalChamber’s convenient all-in-one California and Federal Employment Notices Poster contains 18 California and federal notices, including the Time Off to Vote notice.
Sharing Information with Employees
Informing employees and stockholders about the impact of proposed state legislation, regulations and ballot measures is within your rights as a business owner. Just remember to do it the right way. For example, employers may not include political information with paychecks, or reward or punish employees (or threaten to do so) for their political activities or beliefs.
CalChamber prepared this flyer to provide more guidelines for employers on political communications to employees, including how issues, regulations, legislation or ballot measures will have an impact on the workplace, jobs, the economy and the employees themselves.
These guidelines note when employers must report what they spend as contributions or lobbying, and make a clear 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).
Katie Culliton, Editor, CalChamber