New York Expands Employees’ Voting Leave Rights
On April 1, 2019, New York State passed its 2019‒2020 budget with an amended Election Law §3-110, which provides employees with time off to vote. Effective immediately, all employers must provide New York employees who are registered voters with up to three hours’ time off—without loss of pay—at the beginning or end of working hours to vote in any election. Any registered voter seeking time off to vote must notify his or her employer at least two working days before the election.
The amendment expanded the maximum time-off allotment from two hours to three hours, and it eliminated the portion of the law that limited time off to employees who did not have sufficient time to vote outside of working hours. Employers may want to update their employee handbooks, voting leave policies, and election notices in light of this development.
As a reminder, New York employers must post notice of the provisions of Election Law §3-110 in conspicuous locations in the workplace for at least 10 working days before every election until the close of the polls. Historically, the New York State Board of Elections has published a sample compliant notice and posted it on its website. The Board’s notice, however, has not yet been updated to reflect the recent amendment to Election Law §3-110. We expect that the Board will publish a revised notice in advance of the upcoming primary election on June 25, 2019.