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Providence Journal - U.S. Labor Department advances Sen. Reed's 'work-sharing' initiative

News Article

Location: Washington, DC

By John E. Mulligan

The U.S. Department of Labor issued rules Monday under which companies can use federal-state jobless pay to retain on a part-time basis workers who might otherwise face layoffs.

Rhode Island is one of several states that have explored such "work-share" programs, which got a boost from a provision that Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed wrote into this year's reauthorization of the unemployment compensation program. Reed's office says the state can now be reimbursed by the federal government for about $2 million that it has spent so far this year on its work-sharing program.

"Giving states an incentive to expand their work-sharing programs is a smart investment in preventing future layoffs and blunting economic downturns," Reed said in a news release.

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