Remember the long lines at polling sites last midterm? New York State has mitigated one obstacle to exercising the right to vote – unavoidably impacting employers.
On April 1, 2019, New York amended Election Law §3-110, effective immediately, and now requires employers to permit employees to “take off so much working time as will enable him or her to vote at any election”, including up to three-hours of paid leave.
What are the rules?
Although the law limits the paid portion of “voting leave” to three hours, it is silent on whether any portion of the leave may be charged against an employee’s general paid time off (“PTO”) bank.
Other rules include:
- Employees must provide at least two (2) days advance notice and be registered to vote. (The law is silent on whether written, advance notice is required, or whether an employer may require proof of voter registration).
- The time off must be taken “at the beginning or end” of the employee’s “working shift, as the employer may designate,” unless the employer and employee “otherwise mutually agree.”
- As under the prior version of §3-110, at least “ten working days before every election,” employers must post notice of the law in a “conspicuous place” until “the close of the polls on election day.”