The New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires covered businesses to provide early warnings of closures and layoffs to all affected employees, employee representatives, the Department of Labor, and Local Workforce Development Boards. Additionally, businesses must also give notice to the chief elected official of the unit or units of local government where the site of employment is located; the school district or districts where the site of employment is located; and each locality that provides police, firefighting, emergency medical or ambulance services, or other emergency services, to the locale where the site of employment is located.
This advanced notice gives employees, their families, and communities time to transition, seek new employment, enter workforce training programs with assistance from the Department of Labor and Local Workforce Development Boards.
New York State strengthened its WARN Act regulations to address the post-pandemic employment climate. The regulations clarify how remote work impacts WARN Act compliance and simplifies language to ensure businesses better understand their obligations. View the regulatory text by clicking below.
Before you file the WARN, can the Shared Work program help your business? The Shared Work program is designed to help employers manage business cycles and seasonal adjustments while helping to spare their workers the hardships of full unemployment. The program allows employers to keep trained employees and avoid layoffs by allowing staff members to receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits (UI) while working reduced hours. The Shared Work Program helps keep trained, productive employees on the job during temporary business downturns, meaning New York businesses can gear up quickly when conditions improve, and New York workers get to stay on the job. Full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are eligible.
Learn more at dol.ny.gov/shared-work-program-0
What is the Shared Work Program?
The New York State WARN Act requires businesses to give early warning of closing and layoffs. WARN notices DO NOT need to be submitted to DOL from businesses that employ less than 50 full-time employees.
The WARN Act applies to private businesses with 50 or more full-time employees in New York State. It covers:
- Closings affecting 25 or more employees
- Mass layoffs involving 25 or more full-time employees (if the 25 or more employees make up at least 33% of all the employees at the site)
- Mass layoffs involving 250 or more full-time employees
- Certain other relocations and covered reductions in work hours
This means that covered businesses must provide all employees with notice 90 days prior to a:
- Plant closing
- Mass layoff
- Other covered reduction in work hours
Businesses that do not provide notice may be required to:
- Pay back wages and benefits to employees
- Pay a civil penalty
Businesses must give notice to:
- All affected employees
- Any employee representative(s)
- The New York State Department of Labor (DOL)
- The Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB)
- The chief elected official of the unit or units of local government where the site of employment is located
- The school district or districts where the site of employment is located
- Each locality that provides police, firefighting, emergency medical or ambulance services, or other emergency services, to the locale where the site of employment is located
Early warning gives the DOL and the LWDB the chance to work with the business early on and provide employees with information about:
- Unemployment Insurance (UI)
- Workforce Programs
- Resources designed to get employees back to work quickly
Early warning also benefits the business. It can shorten the time that employees are on UI. It therefore may lower the UI charges associated with the layoff or closing.