The US Department of Labor just made this announcement:
Employers are reopening their business and bringing workers back part-time. Get in touch with your state unemployment office to learn about unemployment benefits available for individuals whose hours have been reduced.
Short-Time Compensation (STC), also known as work sharing or shared-work program, is an alternative to layoffs for employers experiencing a reduction in available work. STC preserves employees’ jobs and employers’ trained workforces during times of lowered economic activity.
STC allows employers to reduce hours of work for employees rather than laying-off some employees while others continue to work full time.
Those employees experiencing a reduction in hours are allowed to collect a percentage of their unemployment compensation (UC) benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. STC cushions the adverse effect of the reduction in business activity on workers by averting layoffs and ensures that these workers will be available to resume prior employment levels when business demand increases.
Currently, 27 states have STC programs established in law that meet the new federal definition with 26 having operational programs (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin).
In order to receive benefits under the STC program, employers must have an approved STC plan in place with the appropriate state workforce agency. The STC application process is initiated by employer(s) and not employee(s). Therefore, in order for employees with reduced hours to potentially be eligible for STC, the employer must submit an application to the appropriate state agency and the state must approve the employer’s application/plan.
In order to qualify for STC, employees must first be determined to be eligible for UC. While receiving UC benefits under an STC plan, employees are not required to meet availability or work search requirements, but they are required to be available for their normal workweek.
Also, employees who are eligible to participate in an employer’s STC plan may be required to serve a mandatory “waiting week,” which is a non-paid week (required by most states).