Introduction to WARN
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.
If an unexpected event caused your business to close, please provide notice as soon as possible and provide as much information as possible to the Department of Labor when you file your notice about the circumstances of your closure so we can determine if an exception to the WARN Act applies to your situation.
WARN Regulation Updates
New York State is strengthening its WARN Act regulations to address the post-pandemic employment climate. The proposed regulations clarify how remote work impacts WARN Act compliance and simplify language to ensure businesses better understand their obligations. The public comment period on the proposed regulations is now open until May 30, 2023. New Yorkers are invited to share feedback by emailing [email protected]. The proposed regulatory text is linked below.
How WARN Works
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.
It is strongly encouraged that employers submit their WARN notices by email to [email protected]. Notice by employers to the Department of Labor can also be mailed to:
New York State Department of Labor - WARN Unit
Building 12, Room 425
State Office Campus
Albany, New York 12226
WARN ACT Fact Sheet
The State WARN Act strengthens the provisions of the Federal WARN Act of 1989. New York has established more strict WARN laws at the state level.
Program Operation Contacts
|Statewide Rapid Response Coordinator||
|NYS WARN Coordinator||Janet Faraone||518-457-1518
|NYS WARN Unit||Karla Thompson||518-485-7615||[email protected]|
|Statewide Trade Act Coordinator||Aaron Heggen||518-457-2013