3 Commonly Asked Questions About Politics at Work

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: October 19, 2020

During election season, it’s hard to avoid hearing about campaigns, elections, and other politically related topics. But, how does affect you at work? What politics related activity is allowed at work and what isn’t?

Below are some commonly asked questions about politics related activity at work and what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation:

Can My Employer Prohibit Me from Displaying Campaign Stickers or Posters at My Desk?

Yes.

An employer can legally enforce a company-wide policy that prohibits employees from displaying political items such as campaign stickers or posters as long as policy neutrally prohibits the display of all non-business-related items.

Employers may want to prohibit employees from wearing certain political items such as hats or buttons to avoid the appearance that the employer aligns with an employee’s personal political view.

Can My Employer Discipline or Fire Me for Attending a Political Rally?

It depends.

If an employee attends a political rally during his or her lunch break, California employers generally cannot discipline or fire an employee for attending the rally. Under state law, employers cannot enforce rules or regulations that prohibit employees from engaging in politics outside of work.

If you’ve been terminated after attending a rally during lunch, you may be the victim of employment discrimination. Our experienced California labor and employment attorneys can help determine if your employment rights have been violated.

However, employers can enforce specific lunchtime periods and can penalize employees who are even one minute late returning work from their lunch break.

On the other hand, an employer can discipline or terminate your employment if you attend the rally during work hours. In some cases, the employer may also be justified by implementing disciplinary actions to employees who wear a shirt or clothing item to a rally that is affiliated with the employer.

Does my Employer Have to Allow Me Time Off to Vote?

Yes. 

If you’re scheduled to work during election day and don’t have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote, California law allows you up to 2 hours off to vote, without losing pay. You can take as much time as you need to vote, but only 2 hours will be paid.

Unless other arrangements have been made with your employer, you may only take time off to vote at the beginning or end of your regular work shift. You must select the time that takes the least amount of time away from your shift and allows you the most time for voting. You must notify your employer at least 2 working days before an election if you believe you will need time off to vote.

Further, California State law (California Elections Code section 14001) requires employers to post a notice advising employees of their options to take time off to vote in statewide elections. Employers must post this notice at least 10 days before a statewide election. The notice must also be placed noticeably where employees can see it as they enter and leave the workplace.

If your employer refuses to allow you time off to vote, your rights may have been violated.

Consult with a Discrimination Lawyer Today

If you believe your employment rights have been violated or that your termination of employment is unjustified, don’t hesitate to contact our office today. We are confident that our experienced employment attorneys can obtain the maximum compensation for your case and offer a “no win, no fee” guarantee. Contact Mesriani Law Group today for your free legal consultation.