Upon the announcement of proclamation 20-58 by Governor Inslee, Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines) released the following statement:

The governor’s action today to strengthen our state’s SharedWork program will remove barriers to partial employment for many workers who have been furloughed and will help keep small businesses, non-profits, and local governments solvent during this crisis.

Washington’s SharedWork is a proven win-win program that provides businesses with the flexibility to retain employees through a voluntary sustainability program. It allows employers to reduce the hours of their staff by 10% to 50%, while their workers receive unemployment benefits that can largely offset their decreased pay.

Through the CARES Act, the federal government will pick up 100% of the tab for state shared work programs during the pandemic, if state laws allow. The governor’s proclamation allows our state to take full advantage of this federal funding and also spares businesses the charges they would normally incur.

The SharedWork program is a strong anti-recession tool because it keeps businesses, non-profits, local government strong; keeps money flowing into workers’ pockets; and maintains the connections between employers and their workers, making it easier for the economy to rebound when the crisis is past.

Organizations can find more information about the SharedWork program at https://esd.wa.gov/SharedWork.