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In Many States Employers Must Give Their Employees Time Off to Vote in the Upcoming Election

November 1, 2006

Many states require employers to allow employees time off, sometimes including paid time off, to vote in elections. These laws vary widely, and it is important that you know your obligations in each state within which you operate your business. Here is a brief discussion of the laws in New York and California.

New York and California employers are both required to allow employees as much time as necessary to vote during a work shift (a maximum of two hours must be paid). In New York, however, employers do not have to grant leave to vote if the polls are open for four consecutive hours outside of the employee’s work time.

Both states also require that employers post a notice of employees’ right to take time off to vote, and that employees give advance notice to their employer if they need to take time off. If you would like additional information on employers’ obligations to employees with respect to voting, please contact us.