Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 484, legislation that creates the “SharedWork Ohio” Program. Similar legislation was introduced in the 128th General Assembly, but failed to secure passage.

This legislation, sponsored by State Representative Mike Duffey (R-Worthington), creates a program in which an employer who participates in the SharedWork Ohio program reduces the number of hours worked by employees in lieu of layoffs.

Under the bill, an employer who wishes to participate in the program must submit a plan to the Director of Job and Family Services that satisfies specific requirements. If a SharedWork Program is approved, employees will maintain pension and healthcare benefits and are eligible to receive 26 weeks of unemployment benefits on a pro rata basis.

“The 'SharedWork Ohio' program is designed to allow employers and employees to work together by opting to reduce employees' work hours in exchange for eliminating potential layoffs,” said Representative Duffey. “This legislation addresses a system that is currently biased toward layoffs and instead fosters an environment of productivity and prosperity.”

Through United States House Bill 3630, as negotiated by House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama, the federal government will provide funds for the administration, cost and promotion of Sharedwork Ohio. As employers continue to pay unemployment premiums, the net positive cash flow into Ohio’s Unemployment Trust Fund may reduce Ohio’s debt to federal government, triggering a decrease in unemployment tax rates for employers.

“The bipartisan support that SharedWork Ohio received today is a positive and significant step toward saving jobs in Ohio” Rep. Duffey said “Now we must urge the Ohio Senate to pass HB 484 during its next session in order to avoid any potential loss in federal funding. I know this will require Senate assistance in expediting the legislation, and see if they can see to it, the Ohioans whose jobs are saved will be deeply appreciative.”

House Bill 484 passed with a vote of 81-15 and will now be sent to the Senate for further consideration.


phil hyde said...

congrats - you guys will bring us to 50% of the states with worksharing programs, and worksharing brings us halfway to the economy of the next century, where maximum economic dynamism and stability is guaranteed by automatically converting chronic overtime into training and jobs, and automatically creating enough chronic overtime to achieve full employment - by slowly adjusting the fulltime workweek downward to squeeze out the market-demanded employment on everyone, no artificial government job creation or massive safety net needed = "timesizing" not downsizing!

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