KGMI News Reporting
By Karen Taylor
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington State’s “Shared Work” program is now available to other states and there is a new incentive for Washington employers.
The program, created in 1983, allows employers to cut their full-time workers’ hours to avoid layoffs while giving workers partial unemployment benefits to make up the difference.
Seeing how successful the program has been, Congress passed legislation in 2012 to encourage other states to create or expand similar programs.
Sheryl Hutchison with the Employment Security Department says the federal government is giving employers an extra instinctive.
Through June 2015, employers can participate without it affecting how much they pay in unemployment taxes.
New changes also include the ability to enroll part-time employees and businesses are required to have two or more employees instead of only one or more.
Hutchison says the program has saved hundreds of thousands of jobs in Washington State since it began 30 years ago.