New York legislation allows 3 hours of paid time off to vote

Seal_of_New_York.svg.pngNew York lawmakers recently passed the state’s annual budget. One of the many items that the budget included was a provision revising paid voting time off for employees. A revision to New York’s election law will now allow workers in the state up to three hours of paid time off to vote at the polls.

As explained in a blog post by the law firm Bond Schoeneck & King, the law previously provided that if an employee had four consecutive hours either between the opening of the polls and the start of his or her shift, or between the end of the shift and the closing of the polls, the employee would be deemed to have had sufficient time to vote and was not entitled to paid time off to vote. If the employee did not have this four-hour window, the employee was allowed to take up to two hours of paid time off to vote either at the beginning or end of their shift.

Under the new law, all employees may request up to three hours of paid time off to vote, regardless of their work hours, as long as the request is made at least two working days prior to the election. The new legislation also eliminates the presumption that an employee is not entitled to paid time off to vote if they have four consecutive hours outside of work time to vote.

Finally, “this new legislation requires that all employers post a notice of the paid time off to vote at least 10 working days before every election. While this requirement has not changed in the new law, employers should note that paid time off voting policies in their employee handbooks are updated to reflect the changes in the law,” Bond Schoeneck & King stated.

To learn more about the state budget, visit New York State’s Division of Budget website.

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