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Time Off To Vote On Election Day? Paid Time Off? Possibly.

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Election day is November 8, 2016 and all polling stations will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Employees who have not yet voted via absentee ballot or early voting who do not have sufficient time outside of their working hours to vote, can qualify to take as much time off as they reasonably need to vote. Typically, Elections Code § 14001 applies to a very limited number of employees. For example, the employee would need to have an hour commute, and be scheduled to work a twelve (12) hour starting at 7:00 a.m. in order to qualify. This employee would qualify as he could not reasonably reach his polling station before it opened 7:00 a.m. or closed at 8:00 p.m.

However, this is not a typical election year. The ballot is very long – more than a hundred items. Employer should therefore expect employee to ask for time off on election day due to the long lines at the polls.

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