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No Excuse: Your Boss Legally Has To Give You Time Off to Vote on October 19th

On October 19th, “I’m too busy” simply won’t cut it if you don’t vote.

According to federal law, employers must give employees three consecutive hours to vote that can be granted at any time during the work day. That should be more than enough incentive for the 60 per cent of people who cited “every day issues” as their reason for not voting during the 2011 election.

There is a catch, though: your boss is the one who decides when you can vote if you require time off from work. You are legally entitled to 3 consecutive hours during the designated voting period to cast your ballot. This means that if you work 9 to 5, and polling hours in your province are 7am to 7pm, the most work you can skip is one hour, at your boss’ discretion.

Voting hours across Canada (all times local) are as follows:

– Newfoundland Time: 8:30am – 8:30pm
– Atlantic Time: 8:30am – 8:30pm
– Eastern Time: 9:30am – 9:30pm
– Central Time: 8:30am – 8:30pm
– Mountain Time: 7:30am – 7:30pm
– Pacific Time: 7am – 7pm

Employers who don’t abide by this law are subject to a fine up to $2,000 and/or three months in jail. A little excessive, but worth pointing out if you think they’re not giving you the time you need to last your ballot.


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