As part of its 2019-20 budget, New York State has amended Election Law § 3-110 to provide for an additional hour of paid time off from work to vote. The amendment took effect on April 12, 2019.

The amendment increases to three hours (from two hours) the maximum amount of paid time off from work that employees may take to vote, and it eliminates the requirement that leaves of absence under the law be available only to those employees who would not have sufficient time to vote during their non-working hours. Refusal to grant an employee’s timely request for voting leave may constitute a criminal misdemeanor. Registered voters who wish to take paid time off from work under the amended law in order to vote must provide their employers with at least two working days’ advance notice. Employers may require that the requested time off be taken at the start or the end of an employee’s shift.

Employers are still required to post a notice informing employees of the provisions of Election Law § 3 110 in a conspicuous location in the workplace for at least ten working days in advance of any election, and must keep the notice posted until the polls close on election day.

The next New York Election Day is June 25, 2019.

Employers with employees in New York State are advised to have counsel review their time-off policies for compliance with the very latest New York State and New York City statutory leave entitlements.