For immediate release:
Feb. 19, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis) today took the first step in having lawmakers consider a ground-breaking proposal that would prevent companies in Indiana to have to lay off employees in times of economic hardship.
Under Macer’s plan, called "work share," employers would have the ability to reduce the hours of workers, rather than laying them off. They could keep their trained employees without the risk of losing them permanently.
“To supplement their lost wages, the workers receive a portion of the weekly unemployment insurance benefits they would have received if they would have been laid off,” said Macer. “Employees in qualifying companies would receive up to 90 percent of their pay, although generally they would receive about 75 percent. The would keep their healthcare and rather than worrying about losing half their pay, employees would have up to 12 months of help while the company gets back on its feet.
“Additionally, the plan helps employers, who would not have to hire and train new employees,” she added.
According to Macer, the work share plan would improve morale because employees would feel more secure and valued while the company was experiencing economic troubles.
“We can’t save every job in Indiana, but this is a method of protecting valued employees and keeping Indiana companies alive,” she said.
House Bill 1288 was heard by the Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee, but was held to be examined in closer detail. While the committee did not take action, Macer said she still sees venues for further consideration by the General Assembly, including a similar bill in the Senate and the possibility of a summer study committee.
“I’m pleased to see interest in considering this avenue for a new work sharing plan in Indiana,” she said. “This proposal has generated support from both sides of the aisle, and a time extension will give us a chance to incorporate better ideas to help all interested parties.”