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Certain Madison city employees work fewer hours to avoid layoffs

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Employees working for three city of Madison departments have had their work hours reduced to avoid layoffs. They also now qualify for unemployment benefits.

Under a plan begun in mid-June, workers from Madison's Fleet Services, Parking Division and the Monona Terrace had their hours reduced to avoid layoffs.

Thirty-seven Fleet Services employees saw their workweeks reduced by eight hours. The group went from standard 40-hour workweeks, down to 32.

As a result, the staff impacted now qualify for 20 percent of their unemployment benefit as well as the full $600 weekly payment from the federal government under the CARES Act.

Staff from the other two agencies had their hours reduced by between five and 60 percent.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) approved the program, known as Work-Share, according to Mike Lipski, human resources services manager for the city of Madison.

DWD's website says the rules governing Work-Shares extend through the end of the year and allows employers to reduce their employees' hours by between 10 and 60 percent in lieu of layoffs.

Benefits on the additional $600 payments run out at the end of July.

Workers who have their time curtailed in this way get unemployment benefits prorated for the reduction. The federal government picks up the tab for the entirety of the unemployment payments.

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JT Cestkowski

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