The New York Department of Labor has released new Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act regulations that are more stringent than federal WARN Act provisions.
Employers with at least 50 workers (including part-timers) are covered. That means those employers must provide 90 days’ notice of a mass layoff, plant closing or relocation. Federal law requires only 60 days’ notice.
State law defines a mass layoff as one where at least 25 workers will lose their jobs for six months or more if the number of affected workers constitutes at least one-third of the workforce. The threshold under federal law is 50 workers.
If the total is less than one-third, employers must report layoffs of 250 workers or more. The federal law trigger is 500.
Similarly, the trigger for plant closings is 25 workers (50 under federal law) if they will lose their jobs due to a permanent or temporary shutdown. Also, employers must provide notice if they are relocating a plant more than 50 miles that will result in the loss of 25 or more jobs.
Note: The state WARN Act regulations are complex. When contemplating any reduction in force, consult with an employment law attorney familiar with the law for guidance.