Attention New York Employers: Notice Requirements under New York’s WARN Act Expanded
December 1, 2020
The State of New York has amended its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the “New York WARN Act”). New York’s WARN Act requires employers to give its employees and various government and certain other representatives, notice when the employer is closing or significantly reducing its staff. The new bill, Assembly Bill A10674a (click here to read text of Assembly Bill A10674a), was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on November 11th with immediate effect. Under the newly enacted amendment, the number of entities which are to receive a New York WARN Act notice as a result of a triggering event has been substantially expanded. In other words, effective immediately, employers have to tell more “people” whenever they issue a WARN notice.
As the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to erode away at the economy in New York and nationwide, employers should be mindful of their current obligations under the NY WARN Act
Employers subject to New York’s WARN Act have always been required to provide WARN notice to the following individuals and groups:
(1) affected employees and their union representatives (if any);
(2) the New York State Department of Labor; and
(3) the Local Workforce Investment Board for the locality in which the mass layoff, relocation, or employment loss will occur.
But with the new amendment, two more groups must receive notice:
(4) the chief elected official of the unit or units of local government and the school district or districts in which the mass layoff, relocation or employment loss will occur; and
(5) each locality which provides police, firefighting, emergency medical or ambulance services or other emergency services to the site of employment subject to the mass layoff, relocation, or employment loss, as applicable.
Under New York law, employers with 50 or more employees within the State are required to provide a minimum of 90 days advance written notice to employees and the various groups listed above for certain triggering events. Typically, New York WARN Act triggering events consist of employers closing a plant or an operational facility, relocation, significant/large reductions in hours worked, or an employer’s mass reduction in force.
Complying with both federal and New York WARN Act requirements can be challenging and costly if done incorrectly. Significant civil penalties as well as the payment of back wages and benefits may be imposed for failure to properly comply. We encourage our clients to consult competent counsel to address the various aspects of New York’s WARN Act.
Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest state and federal employment laws. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203.454.0560.