Employee Requests for Time Off to Vote

Tip of the Month - Employment and Labor Law

With Election Day fast approaching, employers may be confronted with—and, pursuant to certain state laws, are often required to grant—employee requests to take time off to vote. For example, in New York, employers must provide employees with “sufficient time” to vote in any election. An employee is considered to have “sufficient time” if s/he has four consecutive hours to vote between (i) the opening of the polls and the beginning of his or her shift, or (ii) the end of his or her shift and the closing of the polls. If an employee does not have “sufficient time” to vote, New York employers must provide up to two hours of paid leave, at either the beginning or the end of an employee’s shift, so that, together with his or her voting time outside of working hours, the employee may vote. Note, however, that employee requests for time off to vote must be submitted at least two business days in advance of the date of the election. At least ten business days prior to any election, New York employers must also post this notice in a conspicuous location in their workplace. The notice must remain posted until the polls close on Election Day. 

Read previous tip of the month newsletters here.