With the mid-term elections approaching, employers must be cognizant of state laws that provide certain rights to employees voting on Election Day.
In New York State, employees who do not have “sufficient time,” meaning four (4) consecutive, non-working hours while the polls are open, are entitled to take off as much time as necessary to vote. However, in such circumstances, employers are only required to pay an employee for up to two (2) hours of leave from work for voting. Employers may designate whether an employee who is eligible to take time off to vote will do so at the beginning or end of the working shift unless otherwise mutually agreed.
For General Elections, such as the upcoming election on November 6, 2018, polling places are open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. across New York State. Therefore, employees who work a full-day starting prior to 10:00 a.m. and ending after 5:00 p.m. are entitled to time off to vote consistent with the rules outlined above.
New York employers are required to post a notice about the New York Election law.
New Jersey and Connecticut do not have laws providing employees time off or pay to vote. Employers in those states should determine how to handle requests they may receive for time off to vote, including whether to provide paid or unpaid time off or allow employees to use vacation or personal time. For General Elections in New Jersey and Connecticut, such as the upcoming election on November 6, 2018, polling places are open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.