Seyfarth Synopsis: Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a bill amending Section 590 of the New York Labor Law to require employers to provide employees, upon separation, with notice of their right to file for unemployment benefits with the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL). These changes will take effect on November 13, 2023.

The new requirements, set forth in Assembly Bill (A) 00398A and Senate Bill (S) 04878A, expand employers' existing obligation to provide a Record of Employment form to employees who quit, are laid off or are discharged. The amendment extends the scope of that obligation by requiring notice upon a "reduction in hours" or "any other interruption in continued employment that results in total or partial unemployment." This notice must be provided regardless of the impact on an employer's unemployment insurance payments.

This notice must be "in writing on a form furnished or approved by" NYDOL and must include: (i) "the employer's name and registration number"; (ii) "the address of the employer to which a request for remuneration and employment information with respect to such employee must be directed"; and (iii) any other information that may be required by the NYDOL commissioner. At the time of publication, the NYDOL has not published the required form that employers may use to comply with the law.

In the meantime, employers should continue to comply with current obligations and provide individuals with the Record of Employment form as part of standard offboarding processes. Employers should also review their separation documents to ensure notice is provided to separated employees of their eligibility to apply for unemployment benefits as of November 13, 2023.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.