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You Should Know

How to request leave time for voting

You Should Know

Under New York State election law, an employee must be allowed on an election day, without loss of pay, for up to three hours and without charge to leave accruals to take off so much working time as will enable the employee to vote at an election. This applies to employees who live outside of New York State as well.

If you require working time off to vote, you must notify your immediate supervisor or designee by completing and submitting a Voting Leave Request not less than two working days before the day of the election, setting forth the amount of work time you require to vote.

Download the Voting Leave Request form

Unless otherwise mutually agreed, employees shall be allowed time off only at the beginning or end of their working shift, as the supervisor may designate. An employee must charge any time off to vote that exceeds three hours to his or her annual leave, compensatory time balance or cumulative absence reserve/personal business days.

All offices and schools must conspicuously post where it can be seen by employees as they come or go to work a notice setting forth these provisions, beginning at least 10 working days before an election and until the close of the polls on Election Day.

Not every employee's circumstances will require a full three hours of time off to vote. Factors that will affect how much time off an employee needs to vote include, but are not limited to, the employee’s work schedule and the distance between the employee’s worksite or residence and polling place.

Supervisors can discuss an employee’s request with the employee in an effort to clarify the amount of time that will enable the employee to vote in light of the employee’s circumstances and Department operations. Requests for time off shall not be denied simply because an employee might have time before or after regular work hours, or because early voting was available.

An employee’s assertion that they are registered to vote and reside in a district having an election shall be sufficient unless, in unusual circumstances, a supervisor has sufficient cause to believe that the employee is not a registered voter or does not reside in said district, in which case the supervisor may ask for confirmation from the employee.

Related Topics: Political Action