NYS Election Law Amends Voting Leave Law Again, Reverting to Two-Hour Paid Time Off Requirement
In 2019, the New York fiscal budget amended New York Election Law Section 3-110 to, among other things, allow workers to take up to three hours off work, without loss of pay, in order to vote in any election. Paul Keneally wrote about this amendment after it was announced in May 2019. You can read that post here: Employee Paid Time Off to Vote Law Changes in New York. In 2020, New York State budget legislation for the 2020-2021 fiscal year included an amendment to Section 3-110 that reverts back to the pre-2019 voter leave requirements.
Effective April 3, 2020, employees are entitled to up to two-hours of paid time off, but only if the employee did not have “sufficient time” to vote. An employee is considered to have sufficient time to vote if that employee has four consecutive hours to vote either from the opening of the polls to the beginning of their work shift, or four consecutive hours between the end of a working shift and the closing of the polls. Employees also need to request the voting leave at least two business days prior to the election.
Employers cannot require eligible employees to use other forms of earned leave time, such as accrued paid time off, to vote. Additionally, employers must post the new requirements in a noticeable place at least ten working days prior to an election and leave the notice up through at least the close of the polls. Employers should also update their employee handbooks accordingly.
If you have any questions regarding the issues discussed above or if you have any other Labor & Employment Law concerns, please contact the Underberg & Kessler attorney who regularly handles your legal matters or Stephanie Hoffmann, the author of this piece, here or at (585) 258-2814.