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Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

April 17, 2020

Back to the Future: NYS Election Law Reverts to Past Language

On April 3, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, which includes an amendment to the NYS Election Law returning the paid-voting leave language to its pre-2019 state.

In 2019, the NYS Election Law was amended to:

  • Increase the amount of paid voting leave from two to three hours to further enable employees to vote in any election
  • Eliminate the requirement that paid voting leave be available only for employees without sufficient time to vote outside of their working hours
  • Eliminate the presumption that an employee has sufficient time to vote outside of their working hours if the employee has four consecutive hours off before or after their shift
  • Modify the time frame for an employee to request paid voting leave from between two and 10 days before the election to not less than two days before the election.

Effective immediately, the Election Law has returned to its pre-2019 state by:

  • Decreasing the amount of paid voting leave to two hours for employees to vote in any election
  • Requiring that paid-voting leave be available only for employees who do not have sufficient time outside of their working hours to vote
  • Re-installing the presumption that an employee has sufficient time outside of their working hours to vote if the employee has four consecutive hours either between the opening of the polls and the beginning of their shift or the end of their working hours and the closing of the polls
  • Re-installing the strict time frame for an employee to request paid-voting leave to between two and 10 days before the election

With election season right around the corner, employers should be cognizant of this amendment.

Barclay Damon will continue to monitor New York State’s legislation and provide any necessary updates.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Ryan Altieri, associate, at raltieri@barclaydamon.com or another member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Area.

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