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Short-term compensation program helps people find Rhode Island jobs

Posted on February 6, 2015

A slew of labor grants are going to help people find Rhode Island jobs.

With $37,814,386 in new U.S. Department of Labor grants, employers in 13 states will soon have a new tool that may help them avoid layoffs by helping states develop a new, or enhance an existing, Short-Time Compensation program.

The states of Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin are the recipients of the grants.

STC programs allow employers facing economic difficulty to reduce work hours for a group of employees as an alternative to layoffs.

Programs allow workers with reduced hours to supplement their lowered wages with a percentage of the weekly unemployment compensation that would have been available to them had they been laid off entirely.

Since grants for STC programs enhancements were first authorized by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, a total of $50,461,663 have been awarded to 17 states. Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Washington State were previously funded.

STC lets employees keep their jobs — and benefits such as employer-based retirement and health insurance — and helps employers keep skilled workers and avoid the costs of hiring and training new workers when business recovers. The program also eases the strain on local economies, which acutely suffer when layoffs occur.

“Employers want to do right by their workers, and offering them resources to be flexible during tough business cycles is not only good for business, it’s good for our economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “States that incorporate Short-Time Compensation programs are helping their employers be more nimble, keeping more workers on the job and reducing the burden on unemployment insurance programs.”

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