New law lets Ohio companies cut hours, not jobs

Columbus Dispatch - July 12, 2013

Jim Siegel’s piece in the Columbus Dispatch makes note of a win for Ohio workers and companies — last week, Gov. John Kasich signed SharedWork Ohio, a program that allows employers to reduce workers’ hours rather than laying off employees. Ohio is now one of about 25 states with a worksharing program, which allows workers to keep jobs and benefits even as they qualify for partial unemployment for the time they don’t work. In addition to this benefit for workers, work sharing helps firms retain skilled people rather than having to let them go.

Siegel quotes a lead sponsor, who mentioned the role played by Policy Matters played in the legislation:

“It’s a huge drag on the economy when people fall out of the workforce and we have to retrain them for another job,” said Rep. Mike Duffey, R-Worthington, a lead sponsor of the bill. “In the meantime, they’re relying on unemployment and they get into a funk. The goal is to not put them into a jobless situation.”

Duffey said he first heard of the idea last session from Policy Matters Ohio ….

Siegel’s piece continues:

Supporters say it will give employers the ability to keep their workforce intact, avoiding the cost of rehiring and retraining when demand returns, while letting workers keep their jobs and benefits.

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association backed the bill because it allows more flexibility, while the United Way of Central Ohio offered support because it should mean fewer people having to deal with layoffs and more ability for them to join workforce development training.

Read the Dispatch article here: New law lets Ohio companies cut hours, not jobs
See our 2010 report: Worksharing: A tool to avoid layoffs in Ohio
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