New York State announced it plans to launch the new Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Portal next month. The portal, part of the New York State Department of Labor’s (NYSDOL) multi-year technology modernization plan, 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.
A press release from Gov. Kathy Hochul said the portal will also help NYSDOL assist laid-off employees faster, connecting them to support services and resources, including new employment and training opportunities. As part of this announcement, Gov. Hochul also announced changes to the New York’s WARN Act regulations to address the post-pandemic employment climate and help to ensure compliance of the New York State WARN Act.
“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,” Governor 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.”
With the enhanced WARN Act portal, employers will be able to submit documentation, provide lists of impacted workers, and send other important information directly to NYSDOL in real-time. The governor’s office noted that 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.
“Improving user experience is a top priority to the Department and embracing technological solutions is helping us fulfill that mission,” New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon 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.”
As part of its larger four-year modernization plan, NYSDOL is currently working with the New York State Office of Information Technology Services to develop and implement:
- A new bot-driven omnichannel 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 the efficiency of the claims process.
- A new modern system to replace the outdated UI mainframe.
- A new operating model to improve and increase customer engagement.