Apr 2, 2013 12:12 PM by JD Downing
DENVER - A program to help employers retain their work force and save jobs passed the House by a vote of 36 to 26 Tuesday.
SB13-157, sponsored in the House by Reps. Tony Exum (D-Colorado Springs) and Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D-Arvada), will continue The Colorado Work Share Program created in 2010. The program offers employers an alternative to employee layoffs, allowing them to reduce the work hours of a group of employees instead. Employees then share the remaining work and collect prorated unemployment benefits to offset the reduction in income.
"This program has saved jobs in Colorado. Period," Rep. Kraft-Tharp said. "There are Colorado businesses throughout the state that have used this program to prevent layoffs of more of our workforce. Anything we can do to ensure Coloradans keep their jobs, we must do."
Included in this bill are some changes to the current program to bring it in compliance with federal law. The bill also changes the current program by continuing the program indefinitely and increasing the cap on the number of weeks employees may be paid benefits under the program.
"This will allow more Colorado businesses to utilize the program to prevent layoffs and allow Coloradans to keep their jobs," Rep. Exum said. "We are still recovering from the Great Recession and need to ensure that employers have options like this to keep the state's economy moving forward."