As the 2016 U.S. presidential election draws near (finally), employers should be prepared to handle requests from employees for time off from work to vote on Election Day, which is Nov. 8, 2016.

Federal law does not require employers to provide their employees with time off to vote, however many states, including California, have voting leave laws that allow employees to take time off to vote in certain circumstances.

In California, employers are required to allow paid time off for employees to vote, if they cannot get to the polls otherwise.

Here in our home state of California, the election division requires employers to post a notice to employees advising them of provisions for taking paid leave for the purpose of voting in statewide elections. Employers must post the employee notice 10 days before a statewide and national elections. (We provide that to our clients in the labor law poster we give for free, by the way).

Employees are eligible for paid time off for the purpose of voting only if they do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote. So you have to pay for their time at the voting booth, but not to hit up Starbucks on the way. The intent of the law is to provide an opportunity to vote to workers who would not be able to do so because of their jobs.

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. across the state, and employees can get as much time as they need in order to vote, but only a maximum of two hours is paid.

Employers may require employees to give advance notice that they will need additional time off for voting and Employers may require time off to be taken only at the beginning or end of the employee’s shift.

To receive this notice so you can post it in your place of employment, and to sign up to get all the other legal notices you need to post, at no cost to you, fill out the form below. Because here at Get Benefits, we’ve got you covered.

Participating in the election — employees get time off to vote