Connecticut Shared Work Program – Another Workforce Reduction Option for Employers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have been forced to make the difficult determination to terminate or furlough employees in order for their businesses to survive.  What many Connecticut employers do not realize is that the Connecticut Department of Labor provides a program which may be able to accomplish the goal of reducing labor costs to save the business, while also lessening the negative impact upon the employees.  This program is called the Shared Work Program (Program).

Under the Shared Work Program, a qualified employer may be able to reduce an employee’s work hours between 10%-60%.  In compensation for this, the employee may be able to collect an equal percentage of their normal full unemployment benefits for the hours that the employee’s work has been reduced.  This may allow the employee to maintain a livable wage, while also allowing the employer to maintain these skilled and valued workers for when the pandemic is over and business operations hopefully return to normal.

In order to take part in the Program, the employer must have two (2) employees participating; must continue to provide the employees fringe benefits during the reduction of hours period; and any application for the Shared Work Program must be accompanied by documentation evidencing that the employer has in fact explained the Program to the employees and has given them a minimum of seven (7) days to provided comments.

The Program is available to both part time and full-time employees.  If an employee is placed in the Program, the Department of Labor has currently waived the prior requirement that the employee be available and actively searching for alternative employment.

For admittance into Program participation, the employer must file an application with the Department of Labor and the Department of Labor has thirty (30) days to approve or deny the application.

If you are an employer who may need to reduce workforce, and have questions regarding the Shared Work Program, please contact the experienced employment lawyers at Harlow, Adams & Friedman, P.C. today at 203-878-0661 for a free consultation.

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