New York WARN Act Has A Longer Reach (And A Bigger Fist)
Posted on Oct 15, 2008 on Legislative Updates by
|Thinking of closing down or relocating your office or plant in New York State? If you have 50 or more employees you may be required to comply with the recently enacted New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“the N.Y. WARN Act”) which becomes effective on or about February 1, 2009. This new law has a wider reach and imposes much tougher requirements than the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (“the federal WARN Act”).
Under the federal WARN Act, an employer with 100 or more qualifying employees must give 60 days’ written notice of a covered plant closing or mass layoff. The new N.Y. WARN Act, as already mentioned, covers employers having just 50 qualifying employees and requires 90 days’ written notice of a covered plant closing, mass layoff, or relocation.
Under the federal WARN Act, the 60-day notice requirement is triggered when a plant closing results in an employment loss for 50 qualifying employees or when a mass layoff results in an employment loss for 50 qualifying employees constituting at least 33% of the workforce. However, under the N.Y. WARN Act, the 90-day notice requirement is triggered when a plant closing results in an employment loss for 25 employees or when a mass layoff results in an employment loss for 25 employees constituting 33% of the workforce.
Also, with regard to relocation, the N.Y. WARN Act is triggered by the relocation of all or substantially all of an employer’s operations to a location 50 miles or farther from the current location.
Employers who violate the N.Y. WARN Act are liable to all affected employees for back pay and benefits (including medical expenses which would have been covered by the employer’s health insurance) for up to 60 calendar days. In addition, employers may be liable to pay a civil penalty of $500 per day for each day the required notice was not given.
If you are considering relocating or closing a plant or office located in New York, consult your legal counsel to find out if your company is affected by the new Act. Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with state and federal employment laws and is prepared to provide advice on compliance with the federal and N.Y. WARN Acts. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 965-0560.