NYS WARN Act: One More Thing To Keep In Mind if Covid Forced Your Company To Furlough / Lay Off Staff

Employers, you need one more thing to worry about right now…

NYS employers who have more than 50 full time employees, and are being affected by the governor’s orders to close restaurants, bars, casinos, movie theaters, stores, reduce on-site staff first by 50%, then by 75% just a few hours later, may be facing the unpleasant prospect of layoffs. In my read of the NYS Department of Labor web site (below) it appears that you have not been relieved of the duty to file a WARN notice if your layoff meets the criteria cited in the web address below:


The WARN Act applies to private businesses with 50 or more full time workers in New York State. It covers:

·        Closings affecting 25 or more workers

·        Mass layoffs involving 25 or more full-time workers (if the 25 or more workers make up at least 33% of all the workers at the site)

·        Mass layoffs involving 250 or more full-time workers

·        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

·        Relocation

·        Other covered reduction in work hours

I bet I know what you are thinking;  “we didn’t get 90 hours notice for most of this, how are we supposed to provide 90 days notice?” The web site says the following:

“Many businesses are facing rapid and unexpected closures due to the coronavirus. If your business is forced to close, please provide notice a soon as possible and identify the circumstances that required the closure.”

So, it appears that these notices need to be filed as soon as feasible. I have provided another web site with a document that contains the instructions for the information you need to provide to the various constituencies involved – employees, Department of Labor, etc.


If you have your hands full right now, and need assistance, please give us a call.  518-429-0308

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