On July 27, Governor David Paterson signed legislation (Chapter 177) to aid workers who lose their jobs as a result of strikes or industrial controversies in which they are “innocent bystanders.” Under this law, employees whose workplaces are shut down or are otherwise disrupted by strikes may apply immediately for unemployment benefits, instead of waiting seven weeks, provided that the employees were not participating in the controversy, and were either (1) not working for the employer involved in the industrial controversy, or (2) worked for the employer involved in the industrial controversy, but in a different bargaining unit not involved in the controversy.  

In addition, the law eliminates the requirement that employers pay interest on unemployment benefits for workers who were not rehired at the conclusion of a strike in violation of an employer’s commitment.