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Five Important Amendments to the New York State WARN Act Regulations

Late last month (June 2023), the New York State Department of Labor’s amendments New York’s WARN Act regulations went into effect. This post highlights five of the most important amendments to those regulations.

1 – Employer Coverage

The New York WARN Act applies to private sector employers if they employ at least 50 full-time employees located in New York State.  As amended, the regulations now specify that “individuals who work remotely but are based at the employment site” are to be counted when determining if an employer is covered by the New York WARN Act.

2 – Method of Notice to the Commissioner of the DOL

Notice to the Department of Labor Commissioner must now be provided electronically through a newly-established WARN Portal.  Notice must now also include personal information about the affected employees, such as the employee’s name, address (including home address), personal phone number, personal email address, job title, work location, and also identify whether the employee is paid on an hourly, salary, or commission basis, whether the employee is part-time or full-time, and any affiliation to an employee representative.  Employers will need to submit this information on the “Affected Worker Template” found in the WARN Portal.

3 – Notice to Affected Employees

Notice to affected employees must now include any additional information known at the time of notice that is relevant to the separation and useful to the employees, such as:

  • information on severance packages or financial incentives,
  • any available dislocated worker assistance, and
  • estimated duration of the planned action if it is expected to be temporary.

4 – Notice to Additional Recipients

Notice must now be provided to additional recipients, including the school district or districts where the employment site is located and the locality that provides police, firefighting, emergency medical or ambulance services, or other emergency services to the locale where the site of employment is located.

5 – Notice Exceptions

Employers seeking an exception to the 90-day WARN notice requirement must now obtain a determination from the DOL Commissioner that the employer has established all of the requirements of a claimed exception.  Employers seeking such an exception must submit specific information via the WARN Portal within 10 business days of the required WARN notice being provided to the DOL Commissioner.  Employers who fail to do so will be barred from invoking an exception to the 90-day notice requirement.

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