New York Employers Required to Notify Employees of UI Eligibility upon a “Reduction in Hours”

Effective November 13, 2023, Section 590 of New York Labor Law was amended to require employers to inform employees of their right to apply for unemployment benefits with the New York State Department of Labor (NYDOL) “at the time of each permanent or indefinite separation from employment, reduction in hours, temporary separation, [or] any other interruption of continued employment that results in total or partial unemployment.”  The  eligibility notice must be “in writing on a form furnished or approved by” NYDOL.  The notification will further be required to 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.

For per diem workers like home care aides, it is unclear what would constitute a reduction in hours.  Based on the language in the law, the stated intention, and references to Unemployment Insurance Law provisions about what reductions in hours qualify as a reduction for purposes of UI benefits, it appears that employees whose hours are reduced through no fault of their own to less than 30 hours per week, and they earn $504 or less in gross pay, would qualify to receive these notices.  However, please be sure to check with counsel before making any blanket determinations for your organization.