McIlhinney Shared-Work Proposal Approved by U.S. Department
prevention program to be implemented immediately
HARRISBURG – The U.S. Department of Labor recently approved
the state's proposal to create a new shared-work program to help employers
prevent future layoffs.
The new program, which was introduced in the General
Assembly by Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks and Montgomery), would allow
employers who are facing the prospect of layoffs to implement a temporary
shared-work program. The program would allow employers to reduce employee hours
and allow employees to receive unemployment compensation benefits for their lost
Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry Julia
Hearthway recently indicated that her Department would begin accepting
shared-work program applications immediately. More information on the new
program is available by calling the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and
Industry at 877-785-1531.
"Since the beginning of the recession, too many employers
have had no other choice but to let go of quality workers, leaving many families
without a long-term source of income," McIlhinney said. "This program will keep
more of our region's skilled and dedicated employees in the workforce instead of
the unemployment line."
Under a shared work program, employers can reduce normal
weekly hours by 20 to 40 percent. The total shared-work plan cannot exceed 52
weeks, and no employer will be permitted to take part in shared-work plans for
more than 104 weeks out of a 156-week period.
The shared-work plan will be voluntary for employers and
must comply with all applicable federal labor laws. Participating employers must
also agree to not lay off employees during the term of the plan and not hire or
transfer new workers into an affected unit.
The program was created by Act 6 of 2011.