At the end of August, the Interim Employment and Labor Committee heard testimony on work sharing, which was reported by the Indiana Chamber at that time. Recently, the committee met very briefly and reported its findings, but ultimately failed to issue a supportive recommendation.
Because of the number of committee members absent, it may have been difficult to get a recommendation that work share legislation be passed in 2015. As a result, Rep. David Ober (R – Albion) opted for a more neutral “report finding” and has assured the Indiana Chamber that there will be a work sharing bill filed for the upcoming legislative session.
While disappointed that a recommendation to support work share was not proposed, we are looking forward to once again continuing the debate. The Chamber expects to push forward on this issue, which would be a win for employees, business and state government.
NOTE: A work sharing program would allow employers to maintain a skilled and stable workforce during temporary downturns. Employers could reduce employee hours without layoffs, enabling workers to keep their jobs – which hopefully could be returned to full-time status once economic circumstances improve. The employer continues to provide benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans, while impacted employees are permitted to draw a partial unemployment benefit based upon the reduced hours.