Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently revised New York’s Election Law to give workers in the state up to three hours of paid time off to vote.
Under the new law, any employee who is a registered voter may request up to three hours of paid time off to vote, regardless of their work schedules, as long as the request is made at least two working days prior to the election. An employer may determine that the employee take such time either at the beginning or end of the employee’s work shift.
Previously, New York’s Election Law provided that an employee who did not have sufficient time outside of their working hours to vote could take off up to 2 hours at the beginning or end of their shift with pay to vote. Sufficient time was defined as four consecutive hours either between the opening of the polls and the beginning of their working shift or between the end of their working shift and the closing of the polls.
The law left intact the requirement that employers must post a notice in a conspicuous place describing employee’s rights under the law at least ten working days before every election until the close of polls on Election Day.
Employers are reminded to review/revise existing voting paid time off policies and Election Law notices to comply with the new law. They should also ensure that managers and human resource professionals are aware of the law’s new requirements.