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In this regard, this blog is Part VIII of our series on “Remedies under Major New York Labor and Employment Laws.” In Part VII, we deliberated on the remedies available under the New York False Claims Act and mentioned that some of the remedies available under this act include economic damages ((1) double back pay, (2) back pay interest, and (3) make-whole relief as a package for economic damages) and compensatory damages ((1) compensation for any particular harm suffered following a discriminatory act and (2) make-whole relief). We also noted that although there is no applicable state law through which a prevailing party may recover punitive damages under the New York False Claims Act, an aggrieved agent, contractor, or employee may recover (1) reasonable attorney’s costs and fees and (2) litigation costs as deemed just, equitable, and proper by a court of competent jurisdiction.
To move this discussion forward, this blog is titled “Remedies Available under New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (N.Y.S. WARN)” and is a review of the remedies available under this act and as codified under N.Y. Lab. Law §§ 860 et seq.
Remedies Available under New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (N.Y.S. WARN)
Pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 860-g(1)(a), an employee may recover back pay at their final pay rate or at the average regular pay rate for the past 36 months, whichever is higher. Additionally, pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 860-g(1)(b), an employee may be awarded the value of lost benefits, such as medical expenses or other types of compensation as incorporated in their benefits plan. Lastly, pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 860-g(2), the maximum liability for the employer is either one-half the count of an employee’s employment days or 2 months, whichever is shorter.
However, there is no applicable state law through which a prevailing party may recover compensatory damages under the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Further, there is no applicable state law through which a prevailing party may recover punitive damages under the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Attorney’s Fees and Costs
Nonetheless, pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 860-g(7), the prevailing plaintiff may recover reasonable attorney’s costs and fees as deemed just, equitable, and proper by a court of competent jurisdiction.
However, pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 860-g(8), neither any court nor Commissioner of Labor can enjoin mass layoff, relocation, or a plant closing.
Finally, pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 860-h(1), a court may award a $500 civil penalty for every day a violation took place.
In Part IX of the series and our blog titled “Remedies Available under Employee Privacy Protection Laws,” we will discuss the various remedies available under these laws and pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 203-c.
As usual, stay tuned for more legal guidance, training, and education. In the interim, if there are any questions or comments, please let us know at the Contact Us page!
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