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.
Many businesses are facing rapid and unexpected closures due to the coronavirus. If your business is forced to close, please provide notice as soon as possible and identify the circumstances that required the closure.
The WARN Act requirement to provide 90 days’ advanced notice has not been suspended because the WARN Act already recognizes that businesses cannot predict sudden and unexpected circumstances beyond an employer’s control, such as government-mandated closures, the loss of your workforce due to school closings, or other specific circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If an unexpected event caused your business to close, please 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.
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 12240
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