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The Shared Work Program: Possible Alternative to Layoffs

I recently became aware of Washington State’s Shared Work Program talking with a friend who owns a printing business. It’s a program offered by Washington State in which rather than laying employees off, you can cut their hours and they will receive pro-rated unemployment for the % time cut. Shared Work is designed to help businesses keep skilled employees and to preserve jobs. According to a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the program is offered in many states but rarely used by nonprofits. I don’t have personal experience with the program, and it can only be used with full-time, hourly employees—something not all nonprofits have a lot of. Still, I wanted to flag it as a resource. A policy paper explaining the rationale and benefits of the program can be found here.

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