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New York Expands Employer Notice Obligations Related to Unemployment

26 Oct


Update Applicable to:

All employers and multi-state businesses with covered employees by the New York state unemployment law.

What happened?

Signed into law by Governor Hochul and effective November 13, 2023, New York State Assembly bill A398A (substituting senate bill S4878-A) is a legislation that specifically requires employers to provide written notice to their employees who quit, are laid off, or discharged, about their eligibility to file for unemployment benefits.

What are the details?

The existing law requires employers to inform employees upon a permanent or indefinite separation of their right to file an allocation for unemployment compensation benefits in a Record of Employment form.

New York State Assembly bill A398A will expand the employer’s obligations going beyond traditional scenarios like quitting, layoffs, or discharge, and mandating employers to provide written notice to their employees, adding events such as:

·         permanent or indefinite separation of employment

·         reduction in hours

·         temporary separation

·         and any other circumstances leading to total or partial unemployment

It’s important to note that the terms “reduction in hours” and “total or partial unemployment” are not explicitly defined in the statute, leaving some ambiguity regarding the exact scenarios that trigger this notification requirement.

The notice must be provided on a form approved by the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL), which has not yet been released as of today’s date (10/20/2023). Until the new notice is released, employers should continue providing individuals with the Record of Employment Form as part of standard offboarding procedures. When the new notice is issued, it is expected to be found on the following page: Unemployment Insurance Forms. The notice must be provided no more than five working days after the termination date or reduction of their working hours. 

For consulting if an employee is covered: Link.

For more information, please see the links below:

Bill A398A

Law Firm articles: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4

Official DOL News Release

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the provided resources and be on the lookout for the New York Department of Labor’s new form to comply with the new obligations. Employers should also review the law and update any policies, as well as continuing to provide the Record of Employment form along with the new form when that becomes available.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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