Many states have voting leave laws, but it is also important to consider that many employers generally allow some flexibility in hours when a national or state election is held even if voting leave is not required by law.
Most of the state laws governing voting leave regulate:
- The amount of time permitted away from the workplace to vote;
- Whether wages may be deducted; and
- Which elections are subject to such regulations.
New York’s Voting Leave Law
As a result of a new law currently in effect, New York employers must:
- Pay for three hours of voting leave for any election. Unless an employer and employee otherwise agree, voting leave must be at the beginning or end of the work shift as designated by the employer.
- Post a notice setting forth the state’s voting leave requirements at least 10 working days before every election.
In addition, employees must notify their employers of their need for time off to vote at least two working days before Election Day.
Previously, employers only had to provide voting leave if their employees had insufficient time outside working hours to vote, and employers only had to pay for two hours of voting time. Additionally, employees previously had to notify their employers of their need for time off to vote at least two but not more than ten working days before Election Day.
Voting Leave Policies
If you distribute a voting leave policy to your employees, you should be sure that it is in line with your state voting leave law, if any. If you provide voting leave that is more generous than required by law, you should apply the policy fairly and uniformly.
Source: “New York Voting Leave” by Zywave