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Notice of UI benefits now required at moment of termination, layoffs in NYS

Unemployment is affecting many people in rural New York, among other things.
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Unemployment is affecting many people in rural New York, among other things.

As of last week, New York State employers have to tell their employees they can file for unemployment insurance – at the moment they’re letting someone go permanently or temporarily, or in some cases, when they are reducing their hours.

The new law was passed earlier this year and went into effect on November 13. It closes a previous, five-day window for providing this information, which often came in the mail, says Rochester-based employment attorney Jared Cook, so it could take a while for people to even realize they were eligible for much-needed benefits.

"If you wait for a week or two, then you will end up getting less in benefits that you might have been entitled to otherwise," he said, in a situation where "five days can make a pretty big difference to somebody."

Cook says the new law not only impacts the unemployed but also those currently working. He says employers will now have to be more mindful about compliance with unemployment insurance laws up front, rather than after they fire or lay off someone, "and just make sure that they've got everything ready to go before they do it."

That may "delay termination by a day or two," said Cook, "but hopefully it'll help [employees] to come right out of the box knowing what they can do and knowing what their rights are." 

The attorney says large employers should be more compliant than smaller ones, which may not have the same well-staffed HR departments to keep them up-to-date on labor law changes.

Copyright 2023 WAER. To see more, visit WAER.

Deepanjali Sharma
Natasha Senjanovic