Alternatives to unemployment benefits
New York State is offering companies an alternative to layoffs. Officials are encouraging companies to take advantage of The Shared Work Program.
This is how it works: Instead of giving pink slips the company can cut hours and wages. Then, the state will step in and pay employees a percentage of lost wages. Under this program a person who makes $400 a week would get a $320 check from his/her employer and $40 in Shared Work benefits. If the same person was laid off he/she would only get $200 in unemployment benefits.
Fifty-four local companies are taking advantage of the program, saving nearly 4,000 jobs, including Pactiv in Canandaigua. According to the State Department of Labor, 650 Pactiv employees are receiving benefits.
"These people really care about their employees, they want to help their employees," said Michael Manikowski, Executive Director of The Ontario County Office of Economic Development. “They're doing everything possible to help these people hang in there." Updated at: 02/06/2009 6:08 PM
By: Deanna King