New York Employers May Not Seek to Prevent Their Employees From Voting or Attempt to Improperly Influence Their Votes

by Mintz Levin - Employment Matters
Contact

[authors: Michael S. Arnold and Martha Zackin]

Tomorrow millions of employees around the nation will head to the polls to vote in the general election.  No matter who wins, employers should make sure they are aware of the applicable voting leave and coercion laws to ensure that they don’t lose. 

Approximately two-thirds of the states have voting leave laws that require employers to provide their employees with sufficient time during the workday to vote.  And many states (and Federal law) also prohibit employers from coercing or intimidating employees into voting or not voting for a particular candidate or regarding a ballot initiative.  New York is no exception. 

Specifically, New York employers must provide employees with up to two hours of paid time off to vote where the employee (i) does not have four consecutive non-working hours between the opening or closing of the polls and the beginning or end of his or her shift; and (2) otherwise does not have sufficient time to vote during those non-working hours.  Although employees are required to request this leave to vote from their employers at least two days before the election, employers must be careful not to reject an employee’s last-minute request to take time off to vote - if the employer typically approves of a last minute request for time off in order to attend to other matters, the denial of a last minute request for time off to vote may be viewed as a violation of law.  Employers also must post conspicuously in the workplace a notice regarding New York’s Election Law, which can be accessed here.

New York also has enacted laws designed to prohibit employers from improperly influencing an employer’s decision to vote (or not to vote) or to vote (or not vote) for a particular candidate or initiative.  These laws prohibit employers from penalizing an employee in any way, including through a reduction or threatened reduction of wages, for exercising his or her right to vote.  New York also strictly prohibits employers from informing their employees in writing, within the ninety-day period before the general election, that if a certain candidate is elected or defeated, that the employer will cease its operations, that it will decrease the employee’s wages, or that it will take some other action designed to impose negative consequences on the employee. 

The penalties for violating these laws are real.  Individuals and corporations may be guilty of a misdemeanor – imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine ranging from $100 to $500, with multiple offenses resulting in a felony.  Corporations may also lose their charter. 

We strongly urge you to contact local counsel if you have any questions about managing your workforce on Election Day, including regarding responding to an employee’s request for voting leave or before you make any written statements to your workforce regarding your views on a particular candidate or the consequences that may flow if your workforce votes for a particular candidate

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Mintz Levin - Employment Matters | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Mintz Levin - Employment Matters
Contact
more
less

Mintz Levin - Employment Matters on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!