Is the "SharedWork Ohio" Voluntary Layoff Aversion Program Right for My Business?

COVID-19
March 30, 2020
 

What is SharedWork Ohio?

SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff aversion program that allows workers to remain employed and companies to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. Under this program, administered by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services (ODJFS) under Revised Code 4141.50, et seq., the participating employer reduces affected employees’ hours in a uniform manner. The participating employees work reduced hours each week, and ODJFS provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.

What are the benefits to Ohio employers?

  • Retaining skilled and trained employees instead of layoffs during times of business hardship;
  • Avoiding the expense of recruiting and training new workers once business improves;
  • Maintaining existing employee benefits;
  • Providing employees with the security of keeping their job in lieu of a layoff.

Is it right for my business?

  • This program is not for a business looking to reduce hours for seasonal, intermittent or temporary workers.
  • This program is not for a business in a complete business shutdown.
  • This program is not for a business engaged in concurrent layoffs.
  • This program is not for a business looking to end or decrease current employee benefits.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Designate at least two employees for each affected unit, shift or department and uniformly reduce their hours 10-50%;
  • Estimate for ODJFS the number of employees who would have been laid off without participation;
  • Agree to provide prompt information requested by ODJFS;
  • Pay employees hourly or, if they are salaried, convert them to hourly pay; and
  • Be current on all unemployment insurance reports, contributions, penalties and interest.

What should I do if I am interested?

  • Identify eligible employees;
  • Estimate layoffs avoided;
  • Confirm the company’s Unemployment Insurance account number, plant number, and Federal EIN;
  • Call ODJFS to obtain a registration code (614.466.4047); and
  • Start and complete an application at https://unemployment.emp.ohio.gov/empview/logine.jsp.
  • For assistance with the above, contact Chris Ward, Senior Attorney at Calfee, Halter & Griswold at 614.621.7102 or cward@calfee.com.

What is the timing?

Under statute, SharedWork Ohio has 30 days from the date of filing to approve or deny an application. However, SWO has committed on its website to review and respond to applications within one week.

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