WORK SHARING UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM
This California program allows for the payment of Work
Sharing Unemployment Insurance benefits 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 finds 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 five 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 benefits for the fifth (nonworking) day. The
employer retains all trained staff and, when business
improves, the employees resume their five-day work
California's Work Sharing program was the first 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 specific requirements are:
•	 A minimum of two employees, comprising at least
10 percent of the employer's regular work force or a
unit of the work force, must be affected by a reduction
in wages and hours worked.
•	 The reduction in wages and hours worked also must
be at lea