Oct 08, 2020 General Employment Issues

Reminder: NYS Employers Must Post Time Off to Vote Notice Ten Working Days Prior to Election Day

Employers in New York State are required to post a notice informing employees of their right to take paid time off to vote ten (10) working days before Election Day, or by October 20, 2020. The required notice can be found here.  The Board of Elections has also posted Frequently Asked Questions on its website.

Under Section 3-110 of the New York Election Law, employees in New York may currently take up to two (2) hours of paid leave in order to vote, but only if the employee does not have four (4) consecutive hours to vote when the polls are open, either at the beginning or end of the employee’s shift.

For example, as noted in the FAQs, because polls in New York are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., an employee who reports to work at 9 a.m. and leaves at 5 p.m. would not be eligible for paid voting leave because the employee has four hours to vote at the end of the shift- between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.  If the employee’s shift was from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., however, the employee would be eligible for paid voting leave.

As previously reported here, this section of the Election Law has been amended several times, so employers should review their voting leave policies to make sure the policies reflect the current version of the law.

Employees must inform their employers of the need to take time off to vote at least two working days before Election Day.  Employees cannot be required to use vacation or other paid time off to vote. 

Please do not hesitate to contact any of our attorneys if you have any questions or would like additional information.