Do Florida employers really have to lay off so many workers during this recession?
Perhaps not, says Sheri McWhorter, president of the local company Workplace Legal Solutions and a certified member of the Florida Bar. In an article for the Bay Area Business Magazine, McWhorter cites a little known provision in Florida unemployment law that allows companies to reduce employee work hours while the state gives those employees pro-rated unemployment compensation to make up for the lost money.
It’s called Short Term Compensation and it might actually save some companies money in the long run.
Here’s a snippet:
Florida is one of 18 states in the country offering a Short Time Compensation (STC) program to assist employers in reducing payroll costs, while keeping their workforce intact. Under the STC program, employers reduce employees’ work hours by between 10 and 40%, and employees receive prorated unemployment benefits to help replace earnings lost due to the reduced work schedule. The goal of this voluntary employer program is to help businesses reduce payroll costs during the down economy by using unemployment benefits to offset the cost of full time wages, while allowing them to maintain their workforce rather than laying off full-time employees. This way, when the economy improves, employers can increase the work hours of their existing employees rather than having to recruit and hire new employees, which may also help reduce future recruitment and training costs.
STC plans provide an alternative to layoffs by enabling businesses to apportion payroll reductions across a larger group of employees than they would have in the absence of an STC plan. For example, rather than lay off 20% of its workforce, an employer might reduce the work hours of its entire workforce by 20% (i.e. move from a 5 day to a 4 day workweek).
Read the rest of the article here.