There is no federal law that requires employers to provide time off from work to vote. Therefore, the answer to your question turns on state law.

In New Jersey, there is no state law that entitles an employee to take time off from work to vote (either with or without pay). As a result, it is very important to plan ahead and find out whether early or absentee voting is available to you. If so, you may want to vote early or absentee in order to avoid being unable to cast your vote on Election Day due to a work conflict.

In New York, state law requires that, for employees who do not have “sufficient time” outside of working hours to vote at any election, the employer must allow the employee to take off as much time as will allow the employee to vote, and up to 2 hours of the time off must be paid. If the employee has 4 consecutive hours between the opening of the polls and the start of the work shift, or between the end of the work shift and the closing of the polls, then the employee has “sufficient time” and is not entitled to time off to vote. Importantly, the employee must notify the employer of his/her need for time off to vote no less than two and no more than 10 working days before Election Day. —Lisa Manshel, Esq., Manshel Law, LLC