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District of Columbia

These resources – like the public health crisis itself – are constantly evolving and are only current as to the date of publication. This page was last updated on September 3, 2020.

For more up-to-date information on the relief programs available in the District of Columbia, we recommend that you visit D.C.'s COVID-19 Recovery Resources or Food Resources.

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Description of Program and Relief

Shared Work Unemployment Insurance Program

An employer who experiences a sharp temporary reduction in activity due to economic conditions (e.g., public emergency due to COVID-19) may consider using Shared Work Unemployment Insurance Program (Shared Work) as an alternative to layoffs. It is voluntary program through which, if an employer is temporarily reducing hours of work for its full-time employees, those employees may be able to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits without needing to look for work.

The intent of the Shared Work Program is to keep employees employed. The employees continue to earn benefits and partial wages while also being able to collect UI. Instead of being laid off, they share the organization’s reduced hours.

The employer can avoid the time and expense of rehiring and retraining new employees in the future. If an employer has already laid off full-time employees it can rehire them to participate in the Shared Work Program, so long as the employees have worked at the employer during the last quarter.

Government or Lead Agency

Office of Unemployment Compensation (OUC) within the Department of Employment Services of District of Columbia.

Dates Available

Employers can begin applying for the program on April 20, 2020. Apply here. The Shared Work application is valid for 12 months from the date of approval by the DOES Director. Employers who wish to extend their Shared Work plan may file a new application with DOES.

Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

Businesses, nonprofits, and public entities located in DC can apply. A minimum of ten percent (10%) of the employees, in an affected department, shift, or unit, must be subject to layoff, in order to apply for a Shared Work plan. At least ten percent (10%) and by no more than 60 percent (60%) reduction in hours is required to participate in Shared Work. Employees must have been on the payroll continuously for at least three (3) months immediately preceding the date the application for a Shared Work plan is submitted. The affected employees cannot be part-time or seasonal. If the employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the written concurrence of the union’s bargaining agent must accompany the application.

Application Deadlines (If Applicable)

There is no deadline to apply. Starting April 20, 2020, apply here.

Contact for More Information

For more information please click here.

List of Additional Information

For more information click here.

Coronavirus FAQ for Employers.


© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. This does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this publication may be considered attorney advertising. Past representations are no guarantee of future outcomes.

© 2021 Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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