New York has enacted its own version of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act). The New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (New York WARN) requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide at least 90 days' advance written notice of mass layoffs, relocations, and employment losses. The New York Department of Labor has issued final regulations implementing the law (12 NY ADC 921-1.0 et. seq.). Because New York WARN is more expansive than its federal counterpart, employers in New York need to be aware of and follow the state law provisions (NY Labor Law Sec. 860 et seq.).
While New York WARN tracks the federal law in many ways, very important differences are described in greater detail below:
• New York WARN provides for enforcement by the New York State Department of Labor.
• New York WARN applies to more employers than the federal law.
• Notice must be provided to more parties than under federal law.
• New York WARN covers relocations, unlike the federal law.
Legal tip. Many of New York WARN's terms and parameters are untested through administrative or court cases. Therefore, employers would be wise to contact a local employment law attorney for advice when facing a plant closing, mass layoff, or relocation.
Additionally, employers must keep in mind that the requirements of the federal WARN Act also apply. The WARN Act imposes restrictions on the way layoffs are handled. It is designed to give employees advance notice of a layoff in order to find another job or to seek retraining in a new occupation and to give the state adequate preparation to assist the affected workers. A comprehensive discussion of the WARN ...