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Take time to vote May 12

Tuesday, May 12 is BCs provincial Election Day.  Polls are open that day from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time).  All HSA members are urged to vote in this critical election. 

Right to time off

Section 74 of BCs Election Act states that any employee who is entitled to vote is entitled to have four consecutive hours free from employment during voting hours on General Voting Day for the purpose of voting. 

If your shift ends at or before 4:00 p.m., or does not begin until noon or later, then you are not entitled to any time off.  But if, for example, you work 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., then your employer is obliged to allow you either 3 hours at the beginning, 4 hours during, or 1 hour at the end of your shift, to provide you with 4 consecutive hours to vote.  It is your employers choice which option to provide.

It is an offence for an employer to take any deduction from an employees pay, or exact any other penalty, for time off for voting.  The employee is entitled to their regular compensation for those hours not worked while voting.

Section 74 does provide exceptions to the general rule.  For example, voters who are in such a remote location that they would be unable to reasonably reach any voting place during voting hours are not entitled to time off.

You may vote at any voting location in your electoral district. Registered voters should receive a -Where to Vote" card in the mail listing the voting locations in your area.   If you do not receive a card, you can find out where to vote at the Elections BC website at  http://www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/voting/electoral-district-finder/, or by phoning your local Elections BC office, or the local campaign of any of the major political parties.

Additional information about other voting opportunities, voting locations and voter eligibility is available on the Elections BC website at: http://www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/voting/.

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