Representative Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and Senator Vincent Gregory (D-Southfield) praised the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee's passage yesterday of Senate Bill 1094, legislation sponsored by Senator Bruce Caswell (R-Hillsdale) to implement a work-sharing program in Michigan to help part-time workers. The bills closely mirror legislation introduced by Senator Gregory and Representative Ananich in 2011.

Gregory said "it doesn't matter whose name is on the bill, what matters is the legislature taking action to provide help for Michigan workers struggling to get by and enable companies to retain top-flight talent. We have been calling on work-sharing legislation for more than a year and I applaud Senator Caswell's efforts to finally get some traction on this important lifeline for working families."

Similar to SB 1094, SB 697 and HB 4516 would create a work-sharing program for qualifying employers in Michigan that would allow for the payment of unemployment benefits to individuals whose wages and hours have been reduced. This would allow employees working part-time to also collect unemployment benefits and enable companies to retain multiple employees rather than laying them off. Work sharing has proven to be an effective tool in other states to reduce unemployment and help part-time workers stay afloat. It has also enabled businesses in other states to keep their payroll commensurate with their production and adjust to downturns in demand without losing valuable employees.

"Work sharing is a great example of lawmakers helping other people save their job, instead of just maneuvering to save their own," said Ananich. "Thanks to Senator Caswell's leadership, this effort to prevent layoffs in Michigan took a huge step forward."