Amazon Employees Petitioning For Paid Time Off To Vote

With the election looming near, companies like Walmart, Starbucks and Twitter have announced they're allotting extra paid time off for employees to vote. Another large company, Amazon, employs more than 1.3 million people throughout the US, making them the second largest private employer in the country. But for Amazon employees, they are required to use vacation time to vote (or are given the bare minimum of time of based upon state guidelines). This had led to the employees to start a petition to receive paid time off to vote. The petition has over 3,000 signatures so far.

In California, the California Elections Code Section 14001 states:

  • Employers are required to post a notice to employees advising them of provisions for taking paid leave for the purpose of voting in statewide elections. A sample of this notice, as well as a notice to employers regarding time off for voting is available below as a PDF download or, you may call the Elections Division at (916) 657-2166 to order posters of the notices.
  • Employers must post the employee notice 10 days before a statewide election. A statewide election is an election held throughout the state. For a list of upcoming statewide elections, please visit our upcoming elections web page.
  • The employee notice must be posted either in the workplace or where it can be seen by employees as they enter or exit their place of work.
  • 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. 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.
  • Employees can be given 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.
  • Employers may require time off to be taken only at the beginning or end of the employee's shift.

Amazon spokesperson Jaci Anderson released this statement to CNN Business:

"We have supplied all of our employees with information on how to register to vote, details of their local polling locations and how to request time off to vote. In all 47 states with in person voting, employees that lack adequate time before or after their scheduled workday to vote, can request and be provided excused time off. The number of hours and pay provided to employees varies by state in line with local laws."