Since the CARES Act was enacted on March 27, there has been a storm of information about how the federal government is assisting businesses, nonprofits, and employees.

An overlooked area of the CARES Act is the federal subsidy to state-based short-time compensation agreements.

Wisconsin has a short-time compensation program called Wisconsin’s Work-Share Program. A work-share program provides employees with partial unemployment insurance (UI) benefits when their employer has temporarily reduced worker hours. The employees with reduced hours receive a pro-rated UI benefit to offset this reduction in paid wages, implemented by the employer in lieu of laying off workers.

Wisconsin’s Work-Share Program’s general requirements are

  • Must include the greater of 20 employees or 10% of employees in a work unit
  • Working hours must be evenly reduced among employees
  • Reduction of hours must be between 10% and 50% of normal hours per week

To review more information about this Program, please consult the DWD Fact Sheet.

Normally, the UI benefits would be funded by the employer’s UI account. Under CARES Act §2108, up to 100% of these costs are covered through federal financing through 12/31/2020.

Additionally, employees that receive federally funded UI through this Work-Share Program are also eligible to receive an extra $600/week in benefits (also federally funded) per CARES Act §2104 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.

For more information on changing laws and availability of funding for nonprofits during this pandemic, please visit the COVID-19 page of our website.