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State Employees Laid Off One Day Per Week Will Get That $600 Per Week Federal Boost

On May 13, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that 31,000 state employees will be laid off for two days per pay period [one day a week], starting May 27 and running through July 25. This arrangement takes advantage of a federal program known as Work Share to reduce costs in the face of huge revenue shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 epidemic and lockdown.

It will also shift some employment costs from state taxpayers to federal taxpayers.

A state Fact Sheet describing the federal program gives an example of someone who, if fully unemployed, would get a weekly unemployment benefit would be $360. The employee, whose hours go down by 10% instead, will get a payment equal to 10% of that benefit ($36), while still getting the regular pay rate for any hours worked.

“Employees participating in the Work Share due to COVID 19 are also eligible to receive the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) of $600.00 per week in addition to their Work Share benefit,” the Fact Sheet states.