As a form of respect, you may choose to reserve your political conversations for outside your workplace. After all, federal law does not protect private employees from discrimination based on their political beliefs or affiliations. But with this, you may wonder whether your employer has any control over the political activities you wish to participate in independently. Read on to discover whether employers are obligated to provide time off for political activism and how a seasoned New York employee rights lawyer at Bell Law Group can help review your company’s handbook and policies.
Are New York employers obligated to provide time off for political activism?
There are no specific federal or state laws in place that require New York employers to provide time off for political activism. Though, New York is one of the few states to explicitly prohibit employers from making job decisions or overall discriminating based on an employee’s political activities performed while off duty. More specifically, Section 201-d of the New York Labor Law outlines the following:
- A New York employer cannot restrict an employee from participating in political activity if they are off of the employer’s premises and if they are not using the employer’s equipment to do so.
- A New York employer cannot restrict an employee from participating in political activity if they are not expected to be engaging in work at the time.
- A New York employer cannot discriminate against an employee who is running for public office outside of their working hours.
- A New York employer cannot discriminate against an employee who is campaigning for a candidate for public office outside of their working hours.
- A New York employer cannot discriminate against an employee who is participating in fundraising activities for the benefit of a candidate, political party, or political advocacy group outside of their working hours.
Are New York employers obligated to provide time off for voting?
You may not be looking to participate in a significant political activity. Rather, you may simply be interested in voting in an election, a basic right that every United States citizen is encouraged to exercise.
But say, for instance, that the polling location most convenient to you may only be operating during your working hours. With this, your New York employer may be obligated to provide you with up to two hours of paid time off to vote. This is so long as you can prove that you do not have sufficient time to vote. That is, you do not have four or more consecutive hours to vote before or after your working hours.
Regardless of what your specific circumstances may be, you must not second-guess your instinct to retain the services of a competent New York employee rights lawyer from Bell Law Group. Schedule your free initial consultation with our firm today.