P.O. Box 826880 • Sacramento CA 94280-0001
WORK SHARING UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM
This California program allows for the payment of
Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance benefi ts to
individuals whose wages and hours have been reduced.
The program is considered a temporary and practical
alternative to layoffs. For example:
• Due to an economic downturn, an employer with 100
employees fi nds it necessary to lay off 20 employees.
However, rather than lay off these employees, the
employer participates in the Work Sharing program.
The employer keeps all 100 employees on the payroll
but reduces their workweek from fi ve days to four
days, thereby achieving the same desired 20 percent
reduction in payroll. All 100 employees continue to
earn wages for four days and also are eligible for
Work Sharing benefi ts for the fi fth (nonworking) day.
The employer retains all trained staff and, when
business improves, the employees resume their fi ve-
day work schedule.
California’s Work Sharing program was the fi rst program
of its kind in the nation. It was established by the
California State Legislature in 1978 under Senate Bill
1471. The objective of the Work Sharing program is
to help employers and employees avoid some of the
burdens that accompany a layoff situation. If employees
are retained during a temporary slowdown, employers
can quickly gear up when business conditions improve.
Employers are spared the expense of recruiting, hiring,
and training new employees. Employees are spared the
hardship of total unemployment.
Who May Participate in Work Sharing?
Any employer who has a reduction in production,
services, or other conditions that cause the employer to
seek an alternative to layoffs may participate in the Work
Sharing program. Some of the specifi c requirements are:
• A minimum of two employees, comprising at least
10 percent of the employer’s regular workforce or a
unit of the workforce, must be affected by a reduction
in wages and hours worked.
• The reduction in