New York employers are reminded that the New York WARN Act, which is far broader in scope than the federal WARN Act, went into effect on February 1, 2009. For a detailed summary of the differences between the federal WARN Act and the New York WARN Act, click here for our prior eAuthority discussion concerning the New York state law.
Employers also should note that, despite prior informal guidance to the contrary by the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), it is now taking the position (via a website posting on January 6, 2009) that employers planning covered reductions in force during the initial period between February 1, 2009 and May 2, 2009 (90 days after the new law takes effect) should have provided notice under the law 90 days prior to the reduction in force, even though this means that the notice should have been given prior to the effective date of the statute (possibly even as early as November 2008). (Note: Employers that find themselves in this predicament could potentially find protection under the statute’s “good faith exemption” to damages and could also challenge the NY DOL’s interpretation of the law.)
Note: This article was published in the February 2009 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.