Mr. REED. Mr. President, today I am introducing the Layoff Prevention
Extension Act. This bill would extend the financing and grant
provisions for the successful work sharing legislation I authored and
worked to include in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act
The concept of work sharing is simple. It helps people who are
currently employed, but in danger of being laid off, to keep their
jobs. By giving struggling companies the flexibility to reduce hours
instead of their workforce, work sharing programs prevent layoffs and
help employers save money on rehiring costs. Employees who participate
in work sharing keep their jobs and receive a portion of unemployment
insurance benefits to make up for lost wages.
Since becoming law, work sharing has helped save over 110,000 jobs,
including 1,200 jobs in my State of Rhode Island, according to
estimates from the Department of Labor. And it has saved States $225
million by reimbursing them for work sharing benefits they paid out to
workers--benefits that helped keep people on the job.
Before my bill became law in 2012, only a handful of States had work
sharing programs. Now, these programs enjoy broad bipartisan support
and have been established in 29 States and the District of Columbia.
However, the $100 million in implementation grants expired at the end
of 2014, and the 100 percent Federal financing of these work sharing
benefits will expire next month.
The legislation I am introducing today would extend these deadlines
by 2 years so that states with existing work sharing programs, and
those that are looking to enact a program, can qualify for Federal
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting passage of this bill to
keep American workers on the job, save taxpayers money, and provide
employers with a practical, positive, and cost-effective alternative to