Rep. Karlee Macer’s work share bill continues to gain support

January 12, 2016 Karlee Macer

For immediate release:
Jan. 12, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS — State Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Speedway) has gained momentum as she continues to push for legislation that establishes a work sharing unemployment insurance program in Indiana.

Macer has fought to pass this legislation in past sessions and continues to gain support from fellow representatives as well as business and community leaders. She has authored one bill and coauthored another bill on the work sharing program.

House Bill 1011, authored by Macer, would help businesses, faced with significant downtime, maintain quality employees. Instead of layoffs, the program would allow businesses to offer workers a partial unemployment benefit to offset reduced hours.

Businesses in good standing could submit a proposal to the commissioner who would then have 15 days to review the case. Once approved, the company could reduce employee hours while implementing work sharing benefits.

“As many as 30 states currently have work sharing programs in place to protect employees in the event of a job crisis,” said Macer. “I believe it is time for Indiana to join this group in protecting our state’s workforce.”

Under the program, employees would have the opportunity to continue improving their skills while maintaining their benefits. With a talented group of employees retained, employers would no longer need to continue the financially exhaustive rehiring process.

In addition, the program encompasses both small and large businesses, including all companies with two or more employees that work a minimum of 30 hours. This ensures that small businesses have access to the program as well.

“This is an opportunity to put a safeguard in place to protect Indiana employees,” said Macer. “Using the work sharing program, our state will be prepared should another job crisis similar to that of 2008 occur.”

Macer’s continued support of the program stems from her own business experiences. Through the years, she has witnessed the effect company downtime can have on everyone involved.

“These layoffs not only impact employees but also employers and the community,” said Macer. “The program can help alleviate job losses should a business experience any difficulties, minimizing the impact on each group.”

Since its inception, the bill has evolved into a bipartisan effort with business leaders, the Indiana Chamber and the unions working together to create the legislation.

“The partnership between these groups is representative of the program’s importance,” concluded Macer. “This bill is one that I believe everyone can support.”