What is “Work Share Oregon” and how does it fit in with the other programs available to businesses?
Oregon’s Work Share program seeks to prevent layoffs by enabling employers to enter into a voluntary agreement with the Oregon Employment Department (OED) to temporarily reduce employee hours and wages and supplement those wages with partial unemployment benefits.
In order for its employees to be eligible to participate in Work Share, the employer must apply for the program by submitting a written plan to the OED for approval. Once an approved plan is in place, the employer submits one weekly claim covering all participating employees. Employees simply complete a two-page initial claim form and then are eligible for up to 52 weeks of Work Share benefits, which will be deducted from their available maximum OR Unemployment Insurance benefit amount.
To qualify, three or more employees must participate in the reduced work hour plan and their work hours and wages must be reduced by at least 20%, but no more than 40% per week. Eligible employees must have worked full time for at least six months, or part-time for 12 months, immediately preceding submission of the Work Share plan.
- Offers staffing options when times are tough
- Provides a way to keep valued employees during slow times
- Helps you avoid expensive re-training
- Rewards staff loyalty
- Keeps your quality and efficiency high, even when times are slow
- Enables you to be better prepared to ramp up when the market does
- Provides confidential and discreet support for your business and your employees
- Helps avoid hardships usually associated with layoffs
- Unemployment insurance benefits reduce the impact of lost wages
- Participating employees remain eligible for the additional $600 benefit under the CARES Act through July 25, 2020
- No job-hunting requirements as with traditional unemployment insurance claims
- Benefits stay intact, despite not being employed full time
- Reduction in hours, while they need to be available to work for their employer at all times, gives schedule flexibility
Oregon Work Share’s dedicated program page is located here, and includes detailed step-by-step instructional videos and necessary forms: https://www.oregon.gov/employ/unemployment/pages/work-share-program.aspx
FAQs are available here: https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Businesses/WorkShare/Documents/Workshare_FactSheet%202-6-17.pdf
Legal editor: Cody Schvaneveldt