Keiser applauds financial support measure for furloughed workers, employers

State’s SharedWork program for businesses, nonprofits, local governments

State Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, announced her support of Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation to strengthen and extend the state Employment Security Department’s SharedWork program for small businesses, nonprofits and local governments.

SharedWork is a voluntary business sustainability program with the state that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours.

“The governor’s action to strengthen our state’s SharedWork program will remove barriers to partial employment for many workers who have been furloughed and will help keep small businesses, non-profits, and local governments solvent during this crisis,” Keiser said in a June 23 news release.

For claimants to be on SharedWork, their employers must apply to participate in the program, according to the Employment Security Department website. It allows employers to reduce hours by as much as 50 percent, while their employees collect partial benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. The state uses the SharedWork chart to deduct their earnings from their weekly benefits.

“Washington’s SharedWork is a proven win-win program that provides businesses with the flexibility to retain employees through a voluntary sustainability program,” Keiser said. “It allows employers to reduce the hours of their staff by 10% to 50%, while their workers receive unemployment benefits that can largely offset their decreased pay.”

Thousands of Washington employers have used the SharedWork program to:

• Support business stability

• Retain skilled workers

• Reduce payroll costs

• Be a smart alternative to layoffs

• Explore training programs that develop workforce skills

“Through the CARES Act, the federal government will pick up 100% of the tab for state shared work programs during the pandemic, if state laws allow,” Keiser said. “The governor’s proclamation allows our state to take full advantage of this federal funding and also spares businesses the charges they would normally incur. The SharedWork program is a strong anti-recession tool because it keeps businesses, nonprofits, local government strong; keeps money flowing into workers’ pockets; and maintains the connections between employers and their workers, making it easier for the economy to rebound when the crisis is past.”

Employers and employees must follow certain rules as part of the program, including:

• Claimants on SharedWork do not have to look for other work.

• They must be available for all work offered by their regular employer.

• Employers must continue to pay for employees’ health insurance.

• SharedWork plans last one year and have a maximum benefits payable amount.

• Employees who work fewer hours may run out of benefits more quickly.

• SharedWork participants may be eligible for benefit extensions.

Organizations can find more information about the SharedWork program at https://esd.wa.gov/SharedWork.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Six injured in Kent shooting on West Hill

Five transported to Harborview Medical Center; two in critical condition

Federal Way teacher pleads not guilty to child rape charges

A Tacoma man pleaded not guilty to three charges of second-degree child… Continue reading

Kent School District task force targets hybrid learning model in fall

Students won’t return full-time to buildings; final plan still to be determined

Two men shot, injured in parking lot near Kent hookah bar | Update

Kent, SeaTac men hit by gunshots; police looking for suspect information

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

The Red Lion Inn at 1 South Grady Way in Renton is being used as temporary site to relocate individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo.
Renton finds code violation, issues Aug. 9 removal of Red Lion Hotel temporary shelter

County officials believe emergency health order will supersede city’s move.

Courtesy of Mountain View Fire and Rescue
Mountain View Fire and Rescue seeks levy on Aug. 4 primary ballot

Service area includes unincorporated King County near the cities of Auburn, Enumclaw and Kent.

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Most Read