For years, many Missouri employers have relied on the federal Shared-Work Program to help avoid layoffs during temporary work slowdowns. The program has protected Missouri families from economic swings and allowed businesses to retain their skilled workers. Now, state lawmakers must act this year to allow Missourians to continue to access this beneficial program.
Under the Shared-Work Program, during a temporary decline in business, participating companies can reduce the hours of their permanent employees, allowing them to collect partial unemployment payments to make up for lost wages.
On April 23, the Missouri Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 844, which would make necessary changes to Missouri’s statutes to make it possible for businesses in Missouri to continue using the Shared-Work Program. State labor officials have said that unless the bill is passed and enacted by Aug. 22, 2014, the program will end in Missouri. Senate Bill 844, sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon, a Republican from Springfield, contains an emergency clause allowing the bill to take effect immediately upon the governor’s signature. It must still pass the House of Representatives before the legislative session ends on May 16.
“The shared work program has been a valuable tool used by many of our state’s employers over the years. We feel this is truly a win-win program, helping businesses retain the employees they need while ensuring workers are paid during slow periods,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “We thank the Senate for their vote and we are asking the House to quickly act as well.”
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.mochamber.com) was founded in 1923 and is the largest business organization in Missouri, representing almost 3,000 employers, providing more than 425,000 jobs for Missourians.