New York’s Primary Election is right around the corner on June 25,2019. There are primary contests in Erie County as well as in several surrounding suburbs. Are you prepared to comply with the most recent changes to New York Election Law? Here’s what you need to know:
What kind of leave must an employer provide? Effective April 2019, all employees who’re registered to vote are entitled to up to three hours paid leave in order to vote on Election Day. Registering to vote is easy in Erie County.
What do I have to tell my employees? At least ten working days before any public election (for the primaries, that’s June 11th – today!), employers must post the required notice in a conspicuous spot in the workplace. The notice should be kept up until polls close on Election Day.
Does an employee have to tell me in advance that she’s taking paid leave to vote? Yes. Employees must give their employers at least two days’ advance notice if they intend to take time away from work to vote.
Can I control what time an employee takes her voting leave? Yes. Employers are permitted to require the leave be taken at the beginning or end of the employee’s shift or at another mutually-agreeable time.
What changed since last year? New York increased the length of leave that must be made available from two hours to three hours. It also no longer conditions paid time off to vote on an employee’s inability to get to the polls during her free time. Plain and simple, the law now mandates employers give paid time off on Election Day if it’s requested.
But what about my Employee Handbook? For now, put up the notice to alert employees of this new right. Then remember to work with your legal counsel to update your Handbook and revise your voting policy. The attorneys at The Coppola Firm are always available to help.