New York State Thruway rest stop employees have been furloughed across Central New York and Upstate New York since March when COVID19 hit. Will these temporary furloughs lead to more layoffs?

HMSHost is the world’s largest provider of food and beverage services for travelers. They currently run and operate 12 of New York state's travel plazas on the thruway. On the Thruway, rest-stop plazas are spaced about 30 miles apart on each side of the 426-mile mainline, which consists of I-87 from New York City to Albany and I-90 from Albany to Buffalo.

The New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires businesses to give early warning of closing and layoffs. On August 20th, HMSHost advised the state that temporary furloughs for 20 Central New York employees could become permanent layoffs.

Temporary furloughs began on 3/11/2020. Those employees on temporary furlough who are not recalled by 11/15/2020 will be permanently separated on that date."

The reason for these notices were due to "Unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19."

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These WARN notices were for the Travel Plaza Rt 5 S in Little Falls, Iroquois Travel Plaza Box 583 in Little Falls, Junius Ponds Travel Plaza in Phelps, and the Oneida Travel Plaza in Westmoreland. Other plazas in the Capital Region, and Hudson Valley have been posted to the labor website as well.

USAToday reports 6 months since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, the travel industry continues to struggle mightily. The U.S. economy is projected to lose $155 billion in 2020, or $425 million per day, due to the pandemic and international travel bans.

The industry as a whole is going to come back slowly during the fall, Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow predicted in an interview with USA TODAY. He said people will drive to their destinations or take shorter flights, building on trends from summer."

That won't be enough to save some businesses.

Those 20 Central New York employees on temporary furlough who are not called back to work by 11/15/2020 will be laid off. We will update this story when more information becomes available.