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DeLauro Continues Fight to Extend Job-Saving Layoff Prevention Act

June 10, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (June 10, 2016) Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) this week reintroduced the Layoff Prevention Extension Act. The bill extends the financing and grant provisions for the successful Short-Time Compensation program—also known as ‘work sharing’—which DeLauro authored as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. DeLauro is the Senior Democrat on the subcommittee responsible for funding the Department of Labor.

“Work sharing is a win-win for America’s workforce, companies, and our economy. Workers are able to maintain employment in a tough job market, companies can avert business disruption and skill erosion, and with fewer workers unemployed, there is less of a burden on the Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits system,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “Work sharing is an innovative and strategic way for companies to move forward without laying off workers. It is essential that we extend these deadlines so that states with existing work sharing programs, and those that are looking to enact a program, can qualify for federal support.”

Work sharing allows companies to reduce employees’ hours instead of laying-off their workforce. When the bill was signed into law in 2012, 23 states and the District of Columbia had developed similar programs. Today, these programs have been established in 29 states, including Connecticut, and the District of Columbia.

However, the financing and grants deadlines for states within the law have since expired. Specifically, the deadline to enact a work sharing law and receive full federal funding was August 22, 2015, and the deadline to submit grant applications was December 31, 2014. DeLauro’s bill would extend the deadlines to allow additional states to participate, as well as allow states currently participating to continue to receive funding.

In February, the U.S. Department of Labor released a report that found that Short-Time Compensation programs have saved more than 570,000 American jobs since the Great Recession and provided $266 million in federal benefit reimbursements to participating states from 2012 to 2015. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, the program has saved nearly 14,000 jobs in the state since it was enacted in 2014, with the state receiving a total of $14.5 million.

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

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