The Virginia State Senate has passed legislation that uses unemployment benefits to help keep employees on the job in lieu of being laid off.
Nearly two dozen other states participate in what's called a "shared work" program. Senator Bill Stanley, the sponsor of the legislation, says it's an important step in Virginia to save jobs, especially when employers are anticipating a downturn in their business and must cut costs.
Under this law, the employees won’t be laid off and won’t lose money altogether when their hours are reduced.
Employees would also keep their health and retirement benefits. Stanley says the cost of the program would be paid only by the participating business, which he says is about 19 cents per employee. The bill passed overwhelmingly on a 36-2 vote and now heads to the House.