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I'm trying to figure out if I am covered under NY law for purposes of triggering the WARN Act (and potentially seeking damages with a class action). I was recently laid off, along with 50+ employees, from my employer based in the state of NY. Almost all of my co-workers work hybrid out of the NY office; I work remote in a different state.

I've done some research, which seems to suggest that remote workers do count as employees for purposes of triggering WARN in NY, if they are based at a NY site. The NY Department of Labor issued amended regulations in 2023, that among other things, state the following:

Under 921.7.i, it reads:

All individuals employed at a single site of employment, including individuals who work remotely but are based at the employment site, other than part-time employees, are counted as employees for purposes of determining coverage as an employer. (emphasis mine)

Link to amended regulations from DOL website

You can see the problem: what is "based at a NY site" supposed to mean? For context, I pay income taxes in my state of residence, not NY; I am not required to report in to the NY office. My entire rest of the team is hybrid, and works out of the NY office.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Thank you.

EDIT: I also rooted around every line in my signed offer letter, and the only thing I could find that even mentioned the state of NY or matters related to "location" read as follows:

...resolution of disputes as to the meaning, effect, performance or validity of this agreement...in any way connected with your employment with the Company...(the “Disputes”) will be governed by New York law, excluding laws relating to conflicts or choice of law.

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  • There's also a Federal WARN Act. It applies to businesses with at least 100 employees. So unless your company has 50-99 employees, the Federal law will take precedence where there's a conflict with the state law.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 11 at 23:51
  • Are you sure that you don't need to pay taxes in NY? NY has weird requirements for remote, out of state workers when the employer is based in NY.
    – Peter M
    Commented Apr 10 at 14:47
  • Is a great question, and I have submitted that query to HR and my accountant. I'm going to find out real quick one way or another given its almost Tax Day.
    – aidenm
    Commented Apr 10 at 18:44

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Where an employee is based is written down in the employment contract.

For example, it determines, who pays costs for travelling. If someone is based in the Munich office, then going there on time for work is their responsibility. They do it in their own time, on their own money, this is called "commute". If the company sends them to the Hamburg office to work there, the time travelling from either the employees home, or the Munich office is travel for work, on paid company time with paid company resources. It also determines which federal states' public holidays apply and a lot more details.


So this isn't an answer for the United States, but since it can vary from employee to employee, you should give your contract a second look whether it is in there, because your contract would be the obvious choice to write down something employee specific, in any country.

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