Approved June 11, 2019

RESOLUTION OF THE GREATER UTICA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE URGING REPEAL OF NEW LAW IN NEW YORK GRANTING 3 HOURS PAID TIME TO VOTE

WHERES; effective immediately, the New York Election Law § 3-110 reads as follows:
“A registered voter may, without loss of pay for up to three hours, take off so much working time as will enable him or her to vote at any election”; and

WHEREAS; under the new law, all employees may request up to three hours of paid time off to vote, regardless of their work schedules, so long as the request is made at least two working days prior to the election; and

WHEREAS; previous election law provided that an employee was entitled to time off to vote only if he or she did not have four consecutive hours in which to vote between the opening of the polls and the beginning of the employee’s work shift or the end of the employee’s work shift and the close of the polls; and

WHEREAS; previous law also limited an employer’s pay obligation to two hours and any worker whose workday ended at or before 5:00 p.m. was not entitled to paid time off; and

WHEREAS; under previous law, the time an employer must have provided workers to reach the four-consecutive-hour minimum was often was less than two hours; and

WHEREAS; many businesses cannot function properly with portions of their workforce missing for up to three hours at either the start or end of the work day without the need to pay other employees to fill in, assuming such other employees are even available; and

WHEREAS; this new provision in New York State Election Law could impose additional financial hardships and operational disruptions to businesses and organizations, particularly small businesses;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED; that the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce strongly urges the State Legislature and Governor to repeal this new provision and revert to previous election law provisions that remained in effect until April 1, 2019.