rssThe U.S. Department of Labor has announced it will offer support to state unemployment insurance (UI) agencies that oversee short-time compensation, popularly known as “work sharing.” The guidance is part of a series of UI reforms resulting from the recent Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.

“Work sharing is a win-win for workers and employers,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This program will provide more flexibility to workers and employers so they may more efficiently and effectively weather the ups and downs of the economy.”

The guidance will provide information regarding the new federal definition of short-time compensation and on how compensation programs can best transition to the updated definition; the new definition includes additional protections for workers including health insurance and retirement benefits maintenance. States will also receive information on how to receive 100 percent reimbursement for short-time compensation payments made by state programs.

Other short-time compensation features addressed by the DOL include a two-year initiative to allow states to implement short-time compensation programs quickly and grants totaling about $100 million for states implementing or improving short-time compensation programs. Legislative language is also being developed that will assist states in amending laws to allow for implementation of short-time compensation programs. To view the program letter in its entirety visit

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in State Labor Stats]