2012 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
108. Unemployment insurance and reserves.
108.062 Work-share programs; benefit payments.
108.062 Work-share programs; benefit payments.
(1) Definitions. In this section:
(a) "Regular benefits" means benefits payable to an individual under this chapter or any other state law, including benefits payable to federal civilian employees and to former military personnel pursuant to 5 USC ch. 85, other than Wisconsin supplemental benefits, extended benefits, and additional benefits as defined in P.L. 91-373.
(b) "Work-share program" means a program approved by the department under which the hours of work of employees in a work unit are reduced in lieu of the layoffs of 2 or more employees in the work unit.
(c) "Work unit" means an operational unit of employees designated by an employer for purposes of a work-share program, which may include more than one work site.
(2) Elements of plan. Any employer may create a work-share program. Prior to implementing a work-share program, an employer shall submit a work-share plan for the approval of the department. In its submittal, the employer shall certify that its plan is in compliance with all requirements under this section. Each plan shall:
(a) Specify the work unit in which the plan will be implemented, the affected positions, and the names of the employees filling those positions on the date of submittal.
(b) Provide for inclusion of at least 10 percent of the employees in the affected work unit on the date of submittal.
(c) Provide for initial coverage under the plan of at least 20 positions that are filled on the effective date of the work-share program.
(d) Specify the period or periods when the plan will be in effect, which may not exceed a total of 6 months in any 5-year period within the same work unit.
(e) Provide for apportionment of reduced working hours equitably among employees in the work-share program.
(f) Exclude participation by employees who are employed on a seasonal, temporary, or intermittent basis.
(g) Apply only to employees who have been engaged in employment with the employer for a period of at least 3 months on the effective date of the work-share program and who are regularly employed by the employer in that employment.
(h) Specify the normal average hours per week worked by each employee in the work unit and the percentage reduction in the average hours of work per week worked by that employee, exclusive of overtime hours, which shall be applied in a uniform manner and which shall be at least 10 percent but not more than 50 percent of the normal hours per week of that employee.
(i) Describe the manner in which requirements for maximum federal financial participation in the plan will be implemented, including a plan for giving notice, where feasible, to participating employees of changes in work schedules.
(j) Provide an estimate of the number of layoffs that would occur without implementation of the plan.
(k) Specify the effect on any fringe benefits provided by the employer to the employees who are included in the work-share program other than fringe benefits required by law.
(L) Include a statement affirming that the plan is in compliance with all employer obligations under applicable federal and state laws.
(m) Indicate whether the plan will include training to enhance job skills sponsored by the employer and acknowledge that, pursuant to federal law, the employees in the work unit may participate in training funded under the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 without affecting availability for work, subject to the approval of the department.
(3) Approval of plans. The department shall approve a plan if the plan includes all of the elements specified in sub. (2). The approval is effective for the effective period of the plan unless modified under sub. (3m).
(3m) Modification of plans. Upon application of an employer that created a plan, the department may approve a modification to the plan. An approved modification is effective beginning on the date that the modification is approved by the department and is effective for the remaining effective period of the plan.
(4) Effective period. A work-share program becomes effective on the later of the Sunday of the 2nd week beginning after approval of a work-share plan under sub. (3) or any Sunday after that day specified in the plan. A work-share program ends on the earlier of the last Sunday that precedes the end of the 6-month period beginning on the effective date of the program or any Sunday before that day specified in the plan unless the program terminates on an earlier date under sub. (5), (14), or (15).
(5) Revocation of approval. The department may revoke its approval of a work-share plan for good cause, including conduct that tends to defeat the purpose and effective operation of the plan, failure to comply with the requirements of this section or the work-share plan, or an unreasonable change to the productivity standards of the employees included under the work-share program. Any revocation is effective on the Sunday of the 2nd week beginning after revocation of approval of the plan under this subsection.
(6) Benefit amount.
(a) Except as provided in par. (b) and sub. (7), an employee who is included under a work-share program and who qualifies to receive regular benefits for any week during the effective period of the program shall receive a benefit payment for each week that the employee is included under the program in an amount equal to the employee's regular benefit amount under s. 108.05 (1) multiplied by the employee's proportionate reduction in hours worked for that week as a result of the work-share program.
(b) No employee who is included in a work unit is eligible to receive any benefits for a week in which the plan is in effect in which the employee is engaged in work for the employer that sponsors the plan which, when combined with work performed by the employee for any other employer for the same week, exceed 90 percent of the employee's average hours of work per week for the employer that creates the plan, as identified in the plan.
(7) Benefits for partial unemployment. An employee who would otherwise be paid benefits under s. 108.05 (3) for any week shall receive a benefit payment for that week in the amount payable to the employee under sub. (6) (a) or the amount payable to the employee under s. 108.05 (3), whichever is higher.
(8) Benefit year. An employee may be paid a benefit under sub. (6) (a) only for weeks beginning in the employee's benefit year in an amount not exceeding the employee's total benefit entitlement under s. 108.06 (1). Benefits paid under sub. (6) (a) may begin after the first week of the employee's benefit year or may terminate earlier than the last week of the employee's benefit year.
(9) Other benefits. An employee who receives benefits under sub. (6) (a) remains eligible for any benefits other than regular benefits for which the employee may qualify and the amount of those benefits is not affected by the employee's receipt of benefits under sub. (6) (a).
(10) Availability for work. An employee who is receiving benefits under sub. (6) (a) for any week need not be available for work in that week other than for the normal hours of work that the employee worked for the employer that creates the work-share program immediately before the week in which the work-share program began and any additional hours in which the employee is engaged in training to enhance job skills sponsored by the employer that creates the plan or training funded under the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 that is approved by the department.
(10m) Registration for work and work search. The department shall waive the requirements to register for work under s. 108.04 (2) (a) 2. and to conduct a search for work under s. 108.04 (2) (a) 3. for an employee during each week that the employee is receiving benefits under a work-share agreement under sub. (6) (a).
(11) Other employment. An employee who is included in a work-share program during a benefit year may be paid wages during the same benefit year by an employer other than the employer who creates the work-share program. An employee's benefit eligibility for such work is subject to the limitation under sub. (6) (b).
(12) Retirement plan and health insurance coverage. An employer that creates a work-share program shall maintain coverage under any defined benefit or defined contribution retirement plan and any health insurance coverage that the employer provides to the employees who are included in a work-share program, including any particulars of coverage and percentages contributed by the employer for the costs of that coverage, during the effective period of the program under the same terms and conditions as if the employees were not included in the program.
(14) Termination by employer. An employer that creates a work-share program may terminate the program before the end of the effective period as provided in the work-share plan by filing notice of termination with the department. The program is then terminated on the 2nd Sunday following the date that the notice of termination is filed unless the notice specifies that the program is terminated at the beginning of a later week in which case the program terminates at the beginning of that week.
(15) Involuntary termination. If in any week there are fewer than 20 employees who are included in a work-share program of any employer, the program terminates on the 2nd Sunday following the end of that week.
(16) Successorship. If all or any part of the business of an employer that creates a work-share program is transferred as provided in s. 108.16 (8), the successor employer may continue the work-share program as provided in the work-share plan or may terminate the program by filing notice of termination under sub. (14). Termination by a successor employer does not affect any employees of the transferring employer who continue their employment with the transferring employer.
(17) Termination of employment. An employee who is included in a work-share program may be terminated or may voluntarily terminate his or her employment during the effective period of the program and the employee's eligibility or ineligibility for benefits for any weeks beginning after the date of termination is not affected solely as a result of the employee's inclusion in the program.
(18) Federal financial participation. The department shall seek to qualify this state for full federal participation in the cost of administration of this section and financing of benefits to employees participating in work-share programs under this section.
(19) Secretary may waive compliance. The secretary may waive compliance with any requirement under this section if the secretary determines that waiver of the requirement is necessary to permit continued certification of this chapter for grants to this state under Title III of the federal Social Security Act, for maximum credit allowances to employers under the federal Employment Tax Act, or for this state to qualify for full federal financial participation in the cost of administration of this section and financing of benefits to employees participating in work-share programs under this section.
History: 2013 a. 11; s. 35.17 correction in (2) (h).
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