As a reminder with the midterm elections coming up on November 8, 2022, employers in New York State must comply with Section 3-110 of the New York State Election Law. The law permits employees who are registered to vote in New York to take paid time off if they do not have “sufficient time” outside of their scheduled working hours within which to vote. Sufficient time is defined as four (4) consecutive hours either between the opening of the polls and the beginning of the employee’s working shift, or between the end of the employee’s working shift and the closing of the polls. In the event that an employee who qualifies for paid time off does not have sufficient time to vote, the employee can take up to two (2) hours off to vote without a loss of pay.
If an employee intends to take time off to vote, they must provide notice to their employer beforehand. The employee must do so no more than ten but no less than two working days before Election Day.
In New York State polls are open between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Therefore, an employee whose working hours are from 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. would be ineligible under the law to take paid time off to vote because that employee would have four consecutive hours between the end of their shift and the closing of the polls. However, if the employee’s scheduled working hours begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m., the employee no longer has “sufficient time” of four consecutive hours to vote and may take up to two hours of paid time off to vote, either at the beginning or end of their shift. In order to avoid numerous employees being absent on Election Day, Employers may remind employees about the availability of early voting, which began on October 29 and runs through November 6, 2022.
Additionally, all employers must post a notice of these provisions “conspicuously in the place of work” where it can be seen by employees no less than ten (10) days before each election. This notice must be kept posted until the close of polls on election day. The notice is available here: https://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/elections/TimeOffToVoteNotice.pdf
The attorneys in Kane Kessler’s Labor & Employment Practice Group are available to help companies address compliance issues and navigate the amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law. If you have any questions, please contact Kane Kessler’s Labor & Employment Practice Group, Valerie K. Ferrier at 212 519-5107, email@example.com, Jeffrey G. Douglas at 212 519-5183, firstname.lastname@example.org, or John L. Reklaitis at 212-519-5178, email@example.com.