Work Share Plan Would Provide Options to Layoffs

House Bill 1338, authored by Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte), would create a new state work share program to allow unemployment insurance benefits to partially offset lost hours for employees on reduced hour schedules. It would also allow employees to continue employee benefits such as health care insurance that are unavailable if laid off.

Work share would allow you to keep employees on the job during a temporary slowdown, so that you can gear up quickly when business conditions improve. You wouldn’t have the expense of recruiting, hiring and training new employees. Also, you spare your employees the hardship of full unemployment.

Since work sharing is a cost-equivalent alternative to traditional unemployment benefits, the impact on the unemployment trust fund is neutral. However, federal grants provide money for Department of Workforce Development to set up administration of the plan and will reimburse the state for work-sharing benefits, making work sharing a net positive to the unemployment trust fund balance during the two years of the federal grant.

It would be a win-win for employers and employees, keeping people working, avoiding full unemployment benefit costs, and helping companies keep their skilled workers.

The work share program in House Bill 1338 is expected to receive a hearing shortly in the House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Please take a moment right now to send a message to committee members urging them to support the work share program. It will only take a couple of minutes to send an email through the Indiana Chamber’s online grassroots action center.

W-I-N for IBRG

It’s been a good, no make that a very, very good, night thus far for the Chamber’s Indiana Business for Responsive Government political action committee.

IBRG’s top race — political newcomer Rebecca Kubacki taking out incumbent Bill Ruppel in House District 22. Ruppel hasn’t been engaged in the Indiana Chamber’s pro-economy, pro-jobs agenda. Much more is expected from Kubacki, who promises to focus on jobs and education.

Another House Republican incumbent, Jacque Clements (District 38), lost to IBRG-endorsed Heath VanNatter. During her two years in office, Clements gained more notoriety for her troubles back home in Clinton County than any legislative accomplishments.

IBRG also backed a number of incumbents who had been working hard to be part of the solution, not the problem, at the Statehouse. This includes, among others, wins for Dan Leonard (Huntington-District 50) and Tom Dermody (LaPorte-District 20).

These are four of the successes. In all, 15 of 17 IBRG-endorsed candidates earned victories. Full details will be coming in the post-election report early Wednesday morning, but it’s clear that IBRG continues to be the dominant force in working with pro-employer, pro-employee candidates.