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New York State Voting Leave Amended Again

April 27, 2020

One year ago, voting leave in New York was expanded to provide three hours of paid voting leave to all employees, regardless of whether they had time outside of work to go to the polls. But this expanded leave was short-lived. As of April 3, 2020, Section 3-110 of the New York State Election Law detailing the time allowed for employees to vote has been amended to closely resemble its previous iteration. The amendments were announced as part of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2020-2021 state budget.

The changes primarily concern the length of leave, (reduced from three hours to two hours) and when employees may use the leave.

Effective immediately, the following applies:

  • Employees without sufficient time to vote outside of their scheduled working hours "may without loss of pay for up to two hours, take off so much working time as will, when added to [their] voting time outside [their] working hours, enable [them] to vote."
  • An employee has "sufficient time" to vote if they have at least four consecutive hours during which they are not scheduled to work while the polls are open.
  • Voting time off shall be at the beginning or end of the employee's shift, as designated by the employer, unless otherwise agreed upon by both parties.
  • Employees must request voting time off between two and ten days prior to the election.
  • Employers must post in the workplace a copy of the applicable portion of the election law at least ten days prior to every election, which must remain posted at least through the date of the election. (Although not addressed in the law, and to the extent still necessary as the next election approaches, presumably this requirement may be satisfied by electronic posting or distribution given the specific circumstances surrounding COVID-19.)
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Drogin, Laurent S. Partner and Chair of Labor and Employment Practice and Co-Chair of Restrictive Covenant Practice Partner and Chair of Labor and Employment Practice and Co-Chair of Restrictive Covenant Practice 212.216.8016 VCard
Feder, Hagit Senior Compliance Administrator, CFE Senior Compliance Administrator, CFE 212.216.1109 VCard
Hershberg, Jonathan S. Counsel Counsel 212.216.8009 VCard
Kleinmann, David N. Partner and Co-Chair of Restrictive Covenant Practice Partner and Co-Chair of Restrictive Covenant Practice 212.216.1115 VCard
Schoenstein, Richard C. Partner and Co-Chair of Securities and Financial Services Litigation Group Partner and Co-Chair of Securities and Financial Services Litigation Group 212.216.1120 VCard
Schuchert, Wolf Paralegal Paralegal 212.216.1183 VCard
Steer, Richard L. Partner and Chair of Employment Practices Liability Insurance Practice Partner and Chair of Employment Practices Liability Insurance Practice 212.216.8070 VCard
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