Time Off to Vote

New York State Election Law (§ 3-110) imposes several requirements on employers. All employers, regardless of size, must allow an employee up to two hours, with pay, to vote if such employee is a registered voter and “does not have sufficient time outside of his or her scheduled working hours, within which to vote on any day at which he or she may vote.” The law provides that if an employee has four consecutive hours either between the opening of the polls and the beginning of his or her working shift, or between the end of his or her working shift and the closing of the polls, he or she is deemed to have sufficient time to vote and is not eligible for paid time off.

An employee who requires time off to vote is required to notify their employer at least two days prior to Election Day. An employer may designate that time off must be taken either at the beginning or end of an employee’s work shift, unless otherwise mutually agreed. Given that the state now provides for early voting, it is unlikely that many employees will still qualify for additional paid time off to vote.

Finally, at least 10 days before Election Day, all employers are required to conspicuously post a notice regarding these time off provisions. (Note – many employers already satisfy this requirement as part of their general labor law postings.) The state Board of Elections has a sample poster you can use. We’ve posted it to our website or you can request a copy by email or by calling the State Association office.