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NY Labor Department Unveils Online Layoff Resource

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act portal will help businesses file notice of layoffs in a more streamlined way while also providing workers more time to transition into new employment, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office said.

(TNS) — Technology enhancements to the state Department of Labor (DOL) will help both employees and business owners when company layoffs are taking place.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Portal will allow businesses the ability to file notice of layoffs in a faster, more streamlined manner. In addition, it will provide workers more time to transition into new employment and find new jobs, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office said.

Hochul also announced changes to the state's WARN Act regulations to address the post-pandemic employment climate, and help ensure compliance of the state WARN Act.

The 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.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, DOL received an unprecedented number of WARN Act notice filings, the state said, increasing from 430 filings impacting 27,858 workers in 2019 to 2,170 filings impacting 240,001 workers in 2020.

The upgraded portal is expected to go live in April.

"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," she continued.

The enhanced WARN Act Portal will allow employers to submit documentation, provide lists of impacted workers, and send other important information directly to DOL in real-time, thereby allowing impacted workers more time to transition, seek new employment opportunities, and enter state workforce training programs.

The Division of Workforce and Employment Solutions will work with local workforce development boards, community stakeholders, and businesses to "rapidly connect" impacted workers to new careers and job opportunities through DOL.

The comment period on the proposed regulations is now open, and New Yorkers are invited to share feedback by emailing

The launch of the enhanced WARN Act portal is part of DOL's ongoing four-year modernization plan to reduce call volume, enhance customer service, and connecting New Yorkers to Unemployment Insurance benefits.

DOL is currently working with the state Office of Information Technology Services to develop and implement:

  • A new bot-driven omni-channel contact center to answer specific customer claim questions.
  • An upgraded forms management system for rapid processing.
  • A revamped intranet system to improve NYSDOL training to improve efficiency of the claims process.
  • A new modern system to replace the outdated UI mainframe.
  • Establish a new operating model to improve and increase customer engagement.

DOL Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "Improving user experience is a top priority to the Department and embracing technological solutions is helping us fulfill that mission. 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."

©2023 Staten Island Advance, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.