On Thursday, State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) announced her support for a work share program in Indiana. A work share program allows employers to reduce hours for their workers as needed, while state Unemployment Insurance still pays a portion of the remaining amount of a worker’s lost income. This allows employers to make the cuts they need without completely laying off their employees.
Over her fifteen years in the state legislature, Sen. Tallian has introduced numerous bills to implement work share in Indiana, especially during the last economic downturn of the Great Recession in 2009-2010.
“Work share is a great tool to help both employers and employees get through an economic crisis,” Sen. Tallian said. “No employer wants to lay off their workers, but these are tough times for everyone right now. If there’s anything we can do to help keep workers from losing their employer-provided benefits like health insurance then we should do it. It’s a no-brainer.”
Twenty six other states currently have work share programs, including neighbors Michigan and Ohio. Both the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Institute for Working Families have come out in support of work share. Current and past governor administrations have offered little reasoning for their outright opposition to this program.
“I’ve worked to enact work share for years,” Sen. Tallian said. “I have both filed my own bills and worked with the Indiana Chamber on this issue. It’s time Indiana joined the majority of states who currently have this important, supportive program in place. If we don’t, we risk countless more Hoosiers losing their jobs and health insurance, and that’s something we must do everything we possibly can to avoid.”