In 2020, California passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1731, which created an alternative process for employers to submit and be approved for work-sharing plan programs. Previously some employees would be eligible for unemployment benefits if they were working less than their usual weekly hours and their employer was participating in a work-sharing plan that met specified requirements and was approved by the Director of Employment Development. Employers were required to submit to the director a signed, written work-sharing plan application form that met specific requirements.

For work sharing plan applications submitted by eligible employers between September 15, 2020, and September 1, 2023, AB 1731 required that, upon approval by the Director of Employment Development, they be deemed approved for one year, except as specified.

Moreover, the Employment Development Department (EDD) is required to mail an eligible employer a claim packet for each participating employee within 5 business days following approval of the application. The EDD must also make online claim forms available to the approved employer for each participating employee within 5 business days following approval of the application if an employer submitted its work sharing plan application online.

On July 19, 2022, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1854, which extends the provisions under AB 1731, indefinitely, and requires the EDD to accept electronic signatures on all work sharing plan documents.

Jackson Lewis will continue tracking state legislation that is relevant to employers. If you have questions about the effects of this or other recent legislation, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.