WARNing - Part Two

Like New Jersey, New York also has recently implemented changes to its plant closing law. The NY WARN requires covered employers to provide affected employees with at least 90 days notice of an employment loss. The NY WARN applies to employers with 50 or more employees (WARN applies to employers with 100 or more employees) and requires 90 days notice (WARN requires 60 days). The NY WARN also defines mass layoff more broadly than WARN (layoff of at least 50 full time employees and 33 percent of the workforce, or at least 500 employees). Under NY WARN, a mass layoff is a reduction of force of at least 25 employees and 33 percent of the workforce or at least 250 employees.

NY WARN also more broadly defines "plant closing" as the permanent or temporary shutdown of a single site of employment resulting in an employment loss for 25 or more full time employees in a 30 day period. Federal WARN defines plant closing as a loss of 50 or more employees in a 30 day period.

Like the NJ law, NY WARN requires notice to employees and their collective bargaining representative.

Employees aggrieved under NY WARN can seek relief from the Dept of Labor or through a private lawsuit. Penalties include backpay up to a maximun of 60 daysor half the number of days the employee was employed by the employer, whichever is lesser.

In sum, the new NY WARN law applies to smaller employers and smaller reductions of force, and requires more notice, than its federal counterpart.

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