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268.135 Shared work plan.

Subdivision 1. Definitions. For purposes of this section:

(1) "Affected employee" means an employee who was continuously employed as a member of the affected group, for at least six months, on a full-time basis, prior to submission of the shared work plan.

(2) "Affected group" means five or more employees designated by the employer to participate in a shared work plan.

(3) "Shared work plan" or "plan" means an employer's plan, submitted in a manner and format prescribed by the commissioner, under which a group of employees whose normal weekly hours of work are reduced, in order to prevent employees from being laid off due to lack of work.

(4) "Normal weekly hours of work" means the number of hours in a week that the employee normally would work for the shared work employer or 40 hours, whichever is less.

Subd. 2. Participation. (a) An employer wishing to participate in the shared work benefit program shall submit a shared work plan to the commissioner in a manner and format prescribed for approval. The commissioner may approve a shared work plan only if it:

(1) specifies the employees in the affected group;

(2) applies to only one affected group;

(3) includes a certified statement by the employer that each employee specified in the affected group is an affected employee;

(4) includes a certified statement by the employer that for the duration of the plan the reduction in normal weekly hours of work of the employees in the affected group is instead of layoffs that otherwise would result in at least as large a reduction in the total normal weekly hours of work;

(5) specifies an expiration date that is no more than one year from the date the employer submits the plan for approval;

(6) specifies that fringe benefits, such as health and retirement, available to the employees in the affected group are not reduced beyond the percentage of reduction in hours of work; and

(7) is approved in writing by the collective bargaining agent for each collective bargaining agreement that covers any employee in the affected group.

(b) The commissioner shall set the beginning and ending dates of an approved shared work plan.

(c) The commissioner shall send to the employer a determination, by mail or electronic transmission, approving or disapproving the plan within 15 calendar days of its receipt. Determinations are final.

(d) Disapproval of a plan may be reconsidered at the discretion of the commissioner. Approval of a shared work plan may be revoked if the approval was based, in whole or in part, upon information that was false or misleading.

Subd. 3. Eligibility. (a) Regardless of any other provision, an applicant is eligible to receive shared work benefits with respect to any week if:

(1) during the week the applicant is employed as a member of an affected group in a plan that was approved prior to the week and is in effect for the week; and

(2) during the week the normal weekly hours of work were reduced, in accordance with the plan, at least 20 percent but not more than 40 percent, with a corresponding reduction in wages.

(b) Shared work benefits shall not be paid to an applicant beyond one benefit year.

(c) The total amount of regular unemployment benefits and shared work benefits paid to an applicant in a benefit year shall not exceed the maximum amount of regular unemployment benefits available.

(d) An otherwise eligible applicant shall not be denied shared work benefits because of the application of any provision relating to availability for employment, active search for employment, or refusal to apply for or accept suitable employment from other than the applicant's shared work employer.

Subd. 4. Weekly benefit amount. (a) An applicant who is eligible for shared work benefits shall be paid an amount equal to the regular weekly unemployment benefit amount multiplied by the nearest full percentage of reduction of the applicant's regular weekly hours of work as set in the plan. The benefit payment, if not a whole dollar shall be rounded down to the next lower whole dollar.

(b) The deductible earnings provisions of section 268.085, subdivision 5, shall not apply to earnings from the shared work employer of an applicant eligible for shared work benefits unless the resulting amount would be less than the regular weekly unemployment benefit amount the applicant would otherwise be eligible for without regard to shared work benefits.

(c) An applicant shall not be eligible for shared work benefits for any week that employment is performed for the shared work employer in excess of the reduced hours set forth in the plan.

HIST: 1994 c 503 s 4; 1996 c 417 s 16; 1997 c 66 s 79,80; 1998 c 265 s 45; 1999 c 107 s 52,66; 2000 c 343 s 4; 2004 c 183 s 74-76