COVID-19: HSD WORKSHARE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • May 11, 2020   Updates will be published regularly as new information becomes available. Click question to expand, click again to hide.

    Comments (-1)

What is the Oregon Work Share program?

  • Work Share is an Oregon unemployment benefit program that offers an alternative to laying off employees by reducing work hours instead. Eligible staff whose hours and wages are reduced receive a portion of their regular unemployment insurance benefits to compensate for the lost wages.  

    HSD is participating in the Work Share program by reducing eligible employees’ hours and HSD pay by 20%.

Participation

Is everyone participating in this program?

  • Yes. No one is excluded simply by their classification or position they hold. If an employee is eligible, they will be participating. We are all in this together.

Are all work groups and depts affected by the partial furlough, 20% reduction in hours and HSD pay?

  • The current proposal would be for all employees who are eligible will participate. The first furlough day will be Friday, May 15, 2020. Employees who are ineligible for the Work Share program will not be furloughed.

    All unions have been invited to participate. Participation by bargaining unit members is subject to agreement with your union.

    All departments are subject to the partial furlough.  

    There are individual employees, however, who are excluded from the partial furlough because they are a new employee, have notified Hillsboro School District of their retirement, or other reason that exclude them from participation.  

What if I get email or questions on a day or time that I am furloughed (i.e., Friday)?

  • You may not perform any work during the time your schedule has been reduced. If an emergency arises, we will be sure you have someone to direct the issue to on that day. Otherwise, all work needs to be done in the usual course on a day you are scheduled to work.

Who is eligible to receive unemployment compensation through the Oregon Work Share program?

  • Work Share is an unemployment insurance program in Oregon that allows workers to receive partial unemployment benefits while avoiding full layoffs. You must be eligible for Oregon’s Work Share program to participate.

    Generally speaking, to be eligible for unemployment benefits under Work Share, you:

    • Must be employed continuously by HSD full-time for the past 6 months or part-time for the past 12 months.   
    • Must not have recently exhausted employment benefits.
    • Eligibility is determined solely by the Oregon Employment Department based on state law.  HSD has no authority to decide if an employee is eligible for unemployment benefits.
    • If you are eligible for Oregon Work Share unemployment benefits in any week for any amount, you will automatically be eligible for an additional $600 a week of federal CARES Act payments through the last pay period that ends on or before July 31, 2020.

I live in Washington. Do I apply in Oregon or Washington for unemployment benefits?

  • You apply in Oregon - following the same process as employees who live in Oregon. Washington residents who work in Oregon can apply for Oregon unemployment benefits.

What happens if I’m not eligible? Or what if I’m eligible for unemployment, but my benefits are $0?

  • If you are not eligible for unemployment benefits or your benefit amount is $0, then you will not have a reduction in your HSD hours and your HSD wages will remain the same.

Will I still be on a reduced schedule if I’m not eligible?

  • No, if you are not eligible you will not be placed on a reduced schedule nor have reduced pay.

What if I’m not eligible now, but will be before July 31, 2020?

  • If you become eligible before July 31, 2020, and during your contract term, you will be added as a participant in the Work Share program at that time and you will start working a reduced schedule.

How will I know if I am ineligible?

  • You should assume that you are eligible. HSD will reach out to you if, based on the information we have, we know that you are ineligible or if we become aware from the Oregon Employment Department that you are ineligible.

I am authorized through visa (H1-B, J1), green card, DACA status. Am I eligible for CARES Act fund?

  • Yes, you are eligible to apply for Work Share unemployment benefits and, if approved, you will also receive the CARES Act $600 weekly payment. HSD does not employ anyone who does not have work authorization. Therefore, no employee would be ineligible for unemployment benefits for that reason.

Should I be worried that the State gets overwhelmed and my checks from them are delayed as a result?

  • The Oregon Employment Department is currently reporting a 3-week processing time for unemployment insurance payments. We cannot guarantee a specific time that the state payments will begin, and there may be some delay in payments. 

    HSD is partnering with the Oregon Employment Department to streamline this process as much as possible. We are hopeful that the impact of any delay will be minimized by receiving weekly payments for unemployment benefits in addition to your HSD paycheck.

I have a second job. Will this affect my payment amount through Work Share?

  • Maybe. You will report income for other employment and from retirement during the past two years on the initial claim form. It is possible to earn too much income from other sources to receive unemployment benefit payments, even if you are otherwise eligible for unemployment.  

    If you receive additional income from other employment that makes you ineligible for at least $1 under the Work Share program, HSD will exclude you as a participant going forward. You will be returned to your regular hours and pay.

I/my partner make too much to receive the $1,200 federal stimulus payment. Will I still be eligible?

  • Yes, if you are otherwise eligible for unemployment compensation. The federal $1,200 payment is different from and unrelated to state unemployment compensation or the CARES Act $600 weekly payment.

How much will I earn through Work Share and the CARES Act?

  • For those who are eligible, you will earn $600 per week through the CARES Act plus the weekly benefit amount through the Work Share program. ​

    The Oregon Employment Department has an online benefit estimator to estimate your regular unemployment payment.  Under the Work Share program, you would receive 20% of regular unemployment:  https://secure.emp.state.or.us/ocs/estimator/index.cfm

Submission Process

What do I need to do right now?

  • Check your HSD email regularly. We will be sending a one-time application form, required in order to receive unemployment benefits by email. HSD and the Oregon Employment Department are working together on the submission process. More information will be available soon and all employees will receive updates via work email.

How many forms do I have to fill out?

  • You only need to complete a two-page initial claim application. HSD and the Oregon Employment Department are working together on the submission process. More information will be available soon. 

    If you choose not to submit the initial claim application, you will not receive payments, although your hours and HSD pay will still be reduced.

What if I need help filling out the initial claim application?

  • HSD and the Oregon Employment Department are working together on the submission process. More information and support will be available soon.

Do I have to look for other work or turn in additional forms on an ongoing basis?

  • No. The only thing you need to do is fill out the initial claim application, and we encourage you to fill out the optional forms for direct deposit and withholding. HSD and the Oregon Employment Department are working together on the submission process. More information and support will be available soon.

    HSD will turn in a weekly certification after that.  If information you provided on your initial application changes, you will want to contact the Oregon Education Department.

Do I have to apply separately for the federal CARES amount of $600?

  • No. The Oregon Employment Department will make payments for the CARES Act along with payments under the Work Share program.

When is my initial claim application due?

  • We are still finalizing guidance on this question. Additional information will be available soon, and we will email all employees with specific instructions.

Payments

How will I receive payments through the Work Share Program and CARES Act?

  • You will receive payments from the Oregon Employment Department. You can elect to receive these payments via direct deposit.  More information will be available soon.

Are the payments taxed?

  • Yes, payments under the Work Share program and CARES Act are taxable income. You may elect to have taxes withheld from your unemployment compensation payments. More information will be provided with the application process soon on how to elect tax withholding.

    At the end of January next year, you will receive a mailed Form 1099-G from the Oregon Employment Department, which is a Statement for Recipients of Unemployment Compensation, to use in filing your 2020 tax returns.

Can the state hold payment if I am behind on state income tax, child support, alimony etc.?

  • Yes, garnishments will be deducted from Work Share and CARES Act payments in the same manner and to the same extent as these obligations are deducted from regular unemployment compensation.

    Some debts are exempt from collection for a period of time under the CARES Act (such as certain federally guaranteed student loans). You and the District should both receive a notice from the debt processor if your debt is exempt from collection during this period.

Will the payments come with my HSD wage payments or will it be a separate payment?

  • The payments will come from the Oregon Employment Department. They will come as separate payments.

Is there a one-week waiting period before receiving unemployment benefits?

  • Although there is usually a one-week waiting period, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced that the state will be waiving this requirement and that the waiver will be retroactive. This means that if you are eligible for benefits, these benefits will include your first week of furlough. This does not mean you will receive payment after one week.

Can you post an example of the 20% hours reduction resulting unemployment and CARES Act payments?

  • These examples are based on estimates.  

    For those who are eligible, you will earn $600 per week through the CARES Act plus the weekly benefit amount through the Work Share program. ​The Oregon Employment Department determines eligibility and amount. The Oregon Employment Department has an online benefit estimator to estimate your regular unemployment payment. Under the Work Share program, you would receive 20% of regular unemployment: Unemployment estimator

Benefits

Will this have any impact on my health benefits?

  • No. Under a Work Share program, health benefits are not reduced.

Will my vacation and sick leave accrual rates change?

  • You will earn your regular sick and vacation time, per your contract.

What if I will be receiving retirement pay within the next 12 months?

  • If you are currently receiving retirement income, or begin receiving retirement income while you are on partial furlough, you must report that to the District. Those earnings may affect how much you will receive in partial unemployment benefits and may exclude you entirely.

What if I am currently receiving retirement pay?

Workload, Schedule & Leaves of Absence

Do I get to choose when my hours will be reduced?

  • No, employees who are eligible to receive compensation through the CARES Act and Work Share program will be instructed on how their weekly schedule will be reduced. For most employees, this will mean they will not work on Fridays. If you have questions about how your schedule will be reduced, please contact your supervisor.

What are the work expectations while I am working a reduced schedule?

  • A reduced schedule means you are not expected to work during the time you have reduced hours.  All eligible employees will have their schedules reduced by 20% per week. If you typically work 5 days a week, this means you will most likely not work on Fridays.

How will working one day less a week affect my workload?

  • Your weekly hours will be reduced by 20%, and your workload necessarily will be reduced. Please work with your supervisor on questions about how this reduction will affect your workload.

I am a part-time employee. What will my FTE be and what are my expectations?

  • Your FTE will remain the same, and your weekly hours will be reduced by 20% of your regular schedule. If your hours have fluctuated, Work Share uses a prior six-month average to determine your 20% reduction. If your hours have fluctuated, Work Share uses a prior six-month average to determine your 20% reduction. Please work with your supervisor to determine what your weekly schedule will be while you are working a reduced schedule.

What if I was on a leave of absence in the past 12 months?

  • Unprotected leave may affect your eligibility for compensation through the Work Share program. Please contact the Oregon Education Department.

What if I go on a leave of absence before July 31, 2020?

  • You are not eligible to participate in the Work Share program for any week in which you take any amount of leave, including short-term leave such as vacation or sick leave.  Work Share requires that you perform work and are actively working to provide services.  If you go on a leave of absence during the Work Share program, even for one day, you will be excluded during the week(s) you are on leave. 

What if I’m on an intermittent FMLA/OFLA leave of absence?

  • Missing a work opportunity for any reason, other than a COVID-related leave, will make you ineligible  to participate in the WorkShare program that week.

What if I’m on a leave for a COVID-related situation?

  • If you are on a COVID-related leave, then you are still eligible for the Work Share program.  

    COVID-related situations are defined as the following:

    1. unable to work because you are sick with COVID; 
    2. subject to mandatory quarantine; 
    3. unable to work because you have been advised by a doctor to self-quarantine; 
    4. unable to work because the employer has shut down due to the pandemic; 
    5. unable to work because you have to care for a person who qualifies under a) or b)
    6. unable to work due to child care issues; or 
    7. being asked to work in violation of the Governor’s shut-down order

    The COVID-related eligibility issues are complex and were simplified for these FAQs. If you think they apply to you, please contact Benefits at HSDBenefits@hsd.k12.or.us

Can I put in vacation time for the day/time I am scheduled to have reduced hours?

  • No, you are not allowed to use your paid leave time during the time you are scheduled to have reduced hours.

I have vacation hours I will lose in July and I can’t use them now. Will there be an extension?

  • We are working on finalizing guidance on this question. More information will be available soon.

If I am required to participate in Jury Duty, am I still eligible for the Work Share program?

  • You would not be eligible for Work Share per ORS 657.155(1)(c), an individual is not available for work in any week claimed in which the individual has an opportunity to perform suitable work and fails to accept or report for such work.

Other

Is there assistance to help fill out the initial claim application?

  • The initial claim form is available in English and Spanish. If you need assistance or have any questions about how to fill out the form, please complete this GOOGLE FORM and someone will get back to you. Work Share Form Assistance

Will having reduced hours mean there will be no staff cuts next school year?

  • We do not know the full extent of the 2020-21 budget shortfall at this time, but we know that the money saved using this partial furlough will help. We will continue to provide updates as we learn more.

Will these unemployment payments for reduced hours make the state budget situation worse?

  • Through the CARES Act, the federal government reimburses the state for 100% of Work Share unemployment benefits. Participating in the Work Share program and taking advantage of the additional compensation through the CARES Act will help HSD to minimize budget-reduction impacts for next school year without a drain on state resources.

When will the pay for the furlough days be deducted from my paycheck?

  • 12-month staff: The June 20th paycheck will show a deduction for seven furlough days; the July 20th paycheck will show a deduction for five furlough days.

    10-month staff: The June 29th paycheck will show a deduction for five furlough days; six furlough days if your contract end date is on or after June 19th.