October, 2020
Amended NYS Voting Leave; Anti-Harassment Training Reminder; Consultation for Employee Handbooks

Dear Clients, Colleagues and Friends,

We hope that you are all doing well and enjoying a beautiful Autumn. As we approach the end of the calendar year, we remind you it is time to make sure you understand your legal obligations in the workplace, reassess Human Resource needs as well as get your documents in order for the upcoming year. We hope that you find this update useful.
NYS Voting Leave and Notice Requirement

New York State has amended its voting leave law, undoing the changes that were made in 2019. Under the current law, employers in New York State are required to provide employees who are registered voters with up to two (2) hours of paid time to vote on Election Day, if the employee does not have “sufficient time to vote.” An employee is considered to have “sufficient time to vote” if he or she has four (4) consecutive non-working hours in which to vote, either from the opening of the polls until the start of the employee’s shift, or from the end of the employee’s shift to the close of the polls. Employees who do not have sufficient time to vote are permitted to take off time that will, when added to his or her voting time outside his or her working hours, enable him or her to vote.

An employee who takes off time to vote must take such time at the beginning or end of the employee’s work shift, as designated by the employer, unless the employer and employee mutually agree to another time.

An employee who needs time off to vote must notify his or her employer not more than ten (10) and not less than two (2) working days before the day of the election that he or she requires time off to vote.

Employers must post notice of their employees’ right to voting leave. The poster must go up not fewer than ten (10) business days before Election Day. For employers whose business days are Monday through Friday, the posting date this year is October 20, 2020. The notice must be posted where it can be seen as employees come or go to their place of work and must be kept posted until the close of the polls on Election Day.

A copy of the voting leave law and the form of notice are available at the following link: https://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/elections/TimeOffToVoteNotice.pdf 

Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Deadline Approaching

New York State and New York City require employers to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees. The NYS law applies to employers with one or more employees, while the NYC law applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The training requirements are similar, but not exactly the same, under the two laws. NYC-based employers can comply with the NYS training requirements by providing training that meets the broader requirements of the NYC law.

To date, NYS and NYC have not waived the annual training requirement or extended the deadlines. Therefore, employers who have not conducted anti-sexual harassment training for their employees during the past 12 months should do so by December 31, 2020.

If you have any questions about NYS’s Voting Leave law or about anti-sexual harassment training under NYS or NYC law, please contact Chaim Book at cbook@mb-llp.com or Sheryl Galler at sgaller@mb-llp.com.

Time to Update Employee Handbooks

The past year has brought many changes to federal, state and local employment laws, including but not limited to anti-discrimination laws, mandatory sick leave laws and laws providing leave related to COVID-19. Employers must provide their employees with notices of these new laws and should update their employee handbooks to reflect the changes. It is always best practice for employers to engage counsel annually to review, update and supplement their employee handbooks and notices as required. 

If you would like to consult with us regarding your current employee handbook, or if you would like to work with us to prepare an employee handbook for your business, please contact Sheryl Galler at sgaller@mb-llp.com.
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