New Brunswick Election Day: A Reminder Of Employer Obligations
September 7, 2018
By Dominique Fontaine, at McInnes Cooper
When New Brunswickers head to the polls to cast their vote for their political candidate of choice, the N.B. Elections Act gives employees certain rights – and imposes certain obligations on employers – to make their ability to vote meaningful:
- Time to Vote. An employee qualified to vote is entitled to be off of work for three consecutive hours while the polls are open on polling day to vote.
- Additional Time Off. When an employee’s hours of employment doesn’t give them three consecutive hours off to go vote, the employer must allow them the additional time necessary to provide three consecutive hours. However, any additional time off the employer grants for voting are at those hours convenient to the employer. For example, an employee who works from 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m. doesn’t have three consecutive hours outside of their work hours in which to vote; the employer could meet its obligation by permitting the employee to leave work at 5:00 pm.
- Qualified to Vote. In N.B., a person is qualified to vote in a provincial election if they are 18 years of age on polling day, is a Canadian citizen and has been ordinarily resident in N.B. for a period of at least 40 days immediately before the election. There are additional requirements respecting the specific electoral district.
- No Penalty. An employer is prohibited from making deductions from an employee’s pay or imposing any penalty because of their absence from work for the purpose of voting during the three consecutive hours allowed for voting.
- Non-Compliance with Elections Act. An employer that directly or indirectly refuses to grant, or uses intimidation, undue influence, or any other means to interfere with, an employee’s right to have three consecutive hours to vote is guilty of an illegal practice and of an offence.
Please contact your McInnes Cooper lawyer or any member of the Labour & Employment Team @ McInnes Cooper to discuss this topic or any other legal issue.
McInnes Cooper has prepared this document for information only; it is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult McInnes Cooper about your unique circumstances before acting on this information. McInnes Cooper excludes all liability for anything contained in this document and any use you make of it.
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