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State to launch upgraded WARN Act portal to help workers facing layoffs

Roberta Reardon
Roberta Reardon is the commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL). (Photo credit: NYDOL website)

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced plans to launch the new portal for the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

The portal is expected to go live next month, Hochul’s office said.

The New York State WARN Act requires private-sector employers with 50 or more full-time employees to issue a WARN Act notice 90 days before closings, mass layoffs, and other relocations and covered reductions in work hours.

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It requires covered businesses to provide early warnings of closures and layoffs to all affected employees; employee representatives; the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL); and local workforce-development boards, per the WARN Act page on the state’s website.

This upgraded online tool will give businesses the ability to file notice of layoffs in a “faster, more streamlined manner” and will provide workers “more time” to transition into new employment, Hochul’s office contends.

The new system will also allow NYSDOL to help laid-off employees faster, connecting them to support services and resources including new employment and training opportunities.

The governor also announced changes to the state’s WARN Act regulations to address the post-pandemic employment climate and help to ensure compliance of the New York State WARN Act.

The portal is part of the multi-year technology-modernization plan at the New York State Department of Labor, Hochul’s office said.

“Improving user experience is a top priority to the Department and embracing technological solutions is helping us fulfill that mission,” Roberta Reardon, commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor, said. “These latest improvements will help employers give workers a heads-up about closures and layoffs. Early warnings help shorten the time that employees are collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits, and therefore reduce employer liability associated with layoffs. We want to ensure that every impacted employee has every advantage possible to swiftly secure new careers.”

The upgrades are designed to give affected employees more time to transition, seek new employment opportunities, or enter workforce-training programs to find new careers. Once a WARN Act notice is submitted, NYSDOL’s Division of Workforce and Employment Solutions works with local workforce-development boards, community stakeholders, and businesses to “rapidly connect” impacted workers to new careers and job opportunities, Hochul’s office said.

“This new WARN Act portal and improvements to WARN Act regulations are critically necessary measures to reduce the administrative burden for businesses while providing New Yorkers in need with comprehensive support,” Hochul said. “By upgrading systems and regulations at the Department of Labor, my administration is embracing 21st century measures to simplify and streamline processes, enhance customer service, and better connect New York jobseekers with fulfilling work opportunities.”

The new WARN Act portal will allow employers to submit documentation, provide lists of impacted workers, and send other important information directly to NYSDOL “in real time.”

 

 

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