New York Extends Employee Paid Time Off Voting Benefit

May 07, 2019

New York has amended the New York Election Law to require that employers provide employees with paid time off to vote in elections. Prior to the amendment, employers were required to provide employees with two hours of paid time off to vote, but only if the employees did not have four or more consecutive hours off between the time when the polls opened and they began their shift, or between the end of their shift and the closing of the polls. Under the amendment, employees may now take up to three hours of paid time off to vote. The amendment also removed the prior requirement that employees not have at least four hours to vote before or after their shift in order to be entitled to paid time off. As a result, an employee’s right to paid time off to vote is no longer restricted by the amount of time the employee has to vote outside of his or her shift. However, the amendment allows employers to require employees to take time off to vote at either the beginning or end of an employee’s shift. Employees must provide at least two days’ notice of their need for time off to vote. We recommend all employers have SESCO review their Employee Handbook annually to ensure compliance with all federal and state laws.