Effective immediately, the New York Election Law has been amended to provide employees in New York with up to three hours of paid time off to vote in any election.

Passed as part of the annual New York State budget, the new law amends section 3-110 of the Election Law to allow employees to request up to three hours of paid time off to vote, regardless of their work schedule. Previously, the law provided that an employee was entitled to time off only if the employee did not have four consecutive hours in which to vote between the opening of polls and the beginning of the employee’s work shift, or the end of the employee’s work shift and the close of polls. The prior law also required an employer to pay only two hours of the employee’s compensation.

The new law also relaxes employees’ notice requirement. Previously, employees were required to provide between two to ten days’ notice of their need for paid time off to vote. Now, the law only requires that employees provides at least two days’ advance notice. Similar to the previous law, however, employers may designate that any requested time be taken at the beginning or end of the employee’s shift.

Employers in New York should review their existing Voting Leave policies to ensure compliance with the new law. While not a new requirement, employers should also be mindful of their obligation to post a notice regarding the law at least ten working days before every election.