On April 1, 2019, the State of New York revised the paid time off to vote law. The law ensures that all employees who are registered to vote may request a maximum of three hours of time off without experiencing a loss in pay to vote in any public election. Previously, if an employee had four or more consecutive hours outside of work while the polls were open, there was a presumption that the employee was not entitled to paid time off. However, effective immediately, the four-hour consecutive window has been eliminated. In addition, the amount of paid time off that must be granted for voting has increased from “up to two hours” to “up to three hours.” The new law also eliminates the outside limit of 10 days before the election to notify employers of the need for paid time off to vote, and instead requires employees to provide at least two days’ advance notice to make the request. Finally, the law requires employers to conspicuously post a notice of the new law at least 10 working days before every election and until the polls close. The amendment will likely apply to requests for time off for the New York state primary on June 25, 2019. Employers should review their posters and the voting leave policies in their employee handbooks to ensure they are updated to reflect the change in the law.
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